At least 10 inmates, including two alleged Chinese criminals, died after a blast shook a Philippine jail on Friday, officials said. On Thursday night, an explosion from suspected grenade attack and gunfire ravaged the Paranaque City jail in Manila and severely injured the warden.
According to Associate Press reports, Spokesman of the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology, Senior Inspector Xavier Solda, said that eight of the inmates who were killed in the blast were facing drug cases, including two alleged Chinese drug dealers. Two others were facing cases of robbery with homicide.
"During the initial investigation, we can confirm that there was an explosion inside [but] as to what caused the explosion, the investigation is still ongoing," said Solda, the news agency reported.
Solda further said, prior to the explosion, the inmates wanted to talk to the warden upon learning that they will soon be transferred to another facility. Moreover, the fact that the explosion might have been a part of an escape attempt cannot be ruled out, said the senior inspector.
Meanwhile, the investigators are waiting for the warden to recover so that they can start questioning.
Senior Superintendent Jose Carumba, as quoted by a local website Inquirer.net, said that the warden was inside the bathroom when he heard a commotion among the inmates waiting in a receiving area. He then heard gunshots and fired back as he made his way to the receiving area. It was then that the grenade exploded.
This incident happened amidst criticism against President Duterte's iron hand rule against illegal drug dealing in the Philippines.
Recently, Duterte had publicly linked more than 150 local officials, congressmen, judges, policemen and soldiers to the narcotics trade and warned them to surrender themselves or face severe consequences.
The Human Rights Organisations have widely protested against his "shoot-to-kill" orders but Duterte has reaffirmed that he will stick to his decision and he "does not care about human rights".