Media reports give new numbers and details of the escapes
There appears to be some confusion over exactly how many Chinese individuals detained by Philippines Immigration officials managed to escape in the early hours of last Thursday.
When news of the escapes surfaced this week the number of escapees was given as 70, all but 26 of whom had been recaptured, however a different story has now emerged in which it is claimed that 57 escaped from a temporary detention centre inside the Fontana Leisure Park at Clark Field… possibly with the assistance of a Chinese syndicate and corrupt Immigration Bureau personnel.
On Thursday Bureau of Immigration lawyer Antonette Mangrobang revealed that the escape of the 57 Chinese took place last Thursday around 3 a.m.
However, she said, 35 of the escapees returned and gave themselves up after being advised to do so by the local Chinese Embassy, which assured them that their problems were being resolved by the Immigration Bureau.
"They voluntarily returned after their managers were contacted by the Chinese Embassy. The Chinese Embassy told their managers that their cases were being ironed out with the Immigration Bureau," Mangrobang told The Manila Times.
She added that police and Immigration Bureau officials were still hunting down the outstanding 27 escapees, and said that they were trapped in the country because all exit ports had been warned about them.
However, confidential sources of the newspaper claimed that the 57 were allowed to escape after money changed hands, and that the over 1,200 Chinese detainees had been allowed to roam freely inside the detention centre, guarded by only 18 Immigration Bureau officers.
Mangrobang confirmed that some 600 Chinese detainees have filed a petition for bail, saying "their papers are now pending with the Board of Commissioners for approval."
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