Manila, Oct 26: Communist rebels disguised as drug
enforcement officials infiltrated a prison in the Philippines,
overpowered the guards and freed seven of their comrades being
held for murder, police said on Sunday.
The New People`s Army (NPA) rebels claimed to be handing a
prisoner in to the facility in Lucena, south of the capital
Manila, Provincial Police Chief Fidel Posadas said.
Once inside the gates however, they overpowered the guards
and sprang seven comrades whom they called "political
detainees," Posadas told DZBB radio.
The fleeing rebels threw grenades and fired at police,
wounding two of them and two other civilians, he said.
He said the jail guards failed to follow proper procedures
and allowed the men inside without verifying their identities.
"The guards did not even ask which judge ordered the
turnover of prisoners. So the men entered the jail freely," he
The provincial warden and 25 other jail guards were not at
the facility and apparently were attending a seminar in Manila,
"The Governor ordered the provincial warden and the deputy
warden relieved while the investigation is ongoing," he said.
The NPA is the armed unit of the Communist Party of the
Philippines, which has been waging a Maoist rebellion since
1969 in one of Asia`s longest running insurgencies.