In what’s got to be a record-setting breakout story, over one hundred and fifty Filipino inmates have escaped following a violent prison raid on the southern island of Mindanao overnight.

The breakout at a Kidapawan City prison, located near President Rodrigo Duterte’s home town of Davao, has already claimed the life of one guard and injured one prisoner. 

Officials say the majority of escapees left out the back of the jail, which housed a total of 1,511 inmates, while guards fought armed intruders out the front. 

Two of the escaped 158 prisoners have since been recaptured, and the Philippine army has now police in hunting down remaining prisoners and attackers. 

The leader of a village several kilometres from the prison, Alexander Austria, has claimed responsibility for one of these recaptures. He said he immediately posted guards after hearing gunfire:

“We heard the gunfire and we sprang into action to guard our village.”

“We were afraid the escapees could try to enter our village to hide or take hostages.”

While previous insurgents have ranged from communist to Islamist rebels, authorities have yet to reveal who is responsible for the raid. 

However, Xinhua’s news agency quotes a witness saying that black-suited and heavily armed attackers stormed the jail in a bid to free specific inmates serving sentences for murder and illegal drugs. 

Duterte, it needs to be said, has been especially brutal (and arguably inefficient) in his war on drugs: over 5000 people have been legally killed by police since he came into office on June 30. 

The resulting fear has led to hundreds of thousands of addicts and drug dealers turning themselves into already over-crowded prisons like Kidapawan jail and stretching treatment centres thin. 

Source: ABC.

Photo: Getty.