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Immigration guards sacked over escape

First Posted 07:45:00 12/12/2010

MANILA, Philippines?Bureau of Immigration officer in charge Ronaldo Ledesma on Saturday relieved the warden and a jail guard of the BI detention center in Bicutan, Taguig City, after a German national was able to escape while under their charge.

In a statement, Ledesma said he dismissed jail warden Enrico Gecomo and jail guard Geronimo de Guzman of the BI civil security unit and ordered them to explain in 72 hours why they should not be charged administratively for the escape of Andreas Kohn on Dec. 8.

Ledesma said he appointed BI confidential agent and retired police inspector Rodelio Obice acting warden while the incident is being investigated.

Initial investigation showed that Kohn was able to escape while being escorted by De Guzman to the German embassy. He was granted a pass to go to the German Embassy in Makati City to obtain travel documents, Ledesma said.

De Guzman reported that Kohn disappeared while they were having a snack in a fast-food restaurant on Evangelista Street in Makati.

Immigration OIC Associate Commissioner Alberto Braganza said the incident was still being investigated by the BI administrative division.

Braganza said two teams of immigration agents were hunting Kohn.

BI administrative chief Felino Quirante Jr. said charges of neglect of duty or misconduct may be filed against Gecomo and De Guzman.

?They may also be criminally liable for charges of infidelity in the custody of prisoners,? Quirante said. Philip C. Tubeza

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