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After 3 weeks of hiding, jail escapee falls

Binalbagan PNP photo

Luck finally ran out for a jail escapee who was captured by pursuing authorities in Barangay Amontay, Binalbagan in Negros Occidental Friday, July 23, after more than three weeks in hiding.

Francisco Epogon, the alleged leader of the notorious Epogon robbery group, was among five high-risk inmates who escaped from the Negros Occidental District Jail in Bago City on June 29.

He is facing charges for robbery with homicide and robbery with intimidation of person.

Epogon had a close run-in with the authorities but found a way to evade capture.

A day after their escape, on June 30, they were cornered at Hacienda Velez in Barangay Blumentritt, Murcia, that left Marvin Celeste, who was facing charges for illegal possession of firearms, dead, while Daniel Tamon of Salvador Benedicto town, who is facing murder charges, was arrested.

Two days later, on July 2, pursuing authorities tracked down the remaining escapees in Talisay City following reported sightings. This led to the death of Danilo Celeste of Victorias City, who was facing carnapping, robbery, illegal possession of firearms, and attempted homicide cases.

Lawyer Jairus Anthony Dogelio, spokesperson of the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP)-6, said they recently received information that Epogon was sighted in the area, where his girlfriend lives.

When they were able to verify the information, they immediately mounted an operation to arrest him, Dogelio said.

Epogon initially resisted arrest but was overpowered by the pursuing authorities.

The BJMP-6 has offered a P15,000 reward to anyone who could give information that would lead to the capture of each of the escapees.

The informant who provided details about the whereabouts of Epogon will get the cash reward, Dogelio said.

Only Alejandro Montoya of Victorias City, who is facing cases for carnapping, robbery, illegal possession of firearms, attempted homicide, and acts of lasciviousness, remains at large.

Dogelio said they are already following a lead on the last escapee, adding that he is optimistic the suspect will be captured “hopefully, this week.”*

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