Police looking for 17 minors who escaped from juvenile detention center

OPERATIVES of the Cebu City Police Office (CCPO) are on the lookout for the 17 children in conflict with the law (CICL) who escaped from the Operation Second Chance (OSC) Center, a juvenile detention facility in Barangay Kalunasan, on Wednesday morning, January 11, 2023.

According to Lieutenant Colonel Maria Theresa Macatangay, they have created a tracker team to find them.

The team is joined by an investigator from the Guadalupe Police Station, a police officer from the Women and Children Protection Desk and a social worker from the City Social Welfare Office.

Macatangay said they received information about their possible whereabouts, adding that the CICL have not gone to their respective homes.

Based on their initial investigation, the 17 CICL were on their way to breakfast past 6 a.m. when they made a run for the gate and escaped.

The guards were unable to stop them because they were just too many, she said.

“Gi-timing nila nga padung na sila mag-breakfast. So at that moment nga giablihan ang ilang gi puy-an, nang lusot dayon silang tanan,” Macatangay said.

(They timed their escape while on their way to breakfast. When they were let out of their dormitory, they made a run for the gate.)

Macatangay said they have not received any information on whether the CICL have any complaints regarding the operation of the juvenile detention facility.

However, she made it clear that the CCPO will conduct an investigation on where the OSC Center management was lacking.

She said they are looking into the fact that the facility lacks manpower to look after over 100 detainees.

Majority of the 17 CICL are facing murder or drug charges.

Meanwhile, Mayor Michael Rama ordered the CCPO to look into the incident.

Rama said he will wait for the result of the investigation before he acts on the matter.

On April 9, 2022, 20 CICL escaped from the facility.

On December 22, 2019, six detainees managed to get away after a riot erupted inside.

All the escaped detainees were eventually found and returned to the facility. (AYB/PJB)