Bilibid escapee mistaken for chicken bone in septic tank rearrested

August 18, 2023 Alfred P. Dalizon 306 views

CAMP VICENTE LIM, Canlubang, Laguna — A prisoner at the National Bilibid Prison (NBP) who was reported missing and his body mistaken for chicken bone in a septic tank on Thursday was recaptured in Bgy. San Isidro, Angono, Rizal.

Police Regional Office 4A (Calabarzon) Director Brig. Gen. Carlito Gaces and Area Police Command-Southern Luzon commander Lt. Gen. Rhoderick Armamento said re-arrested was Michael Angelo Cataroja, a 26-year-old resident of Sitio Minahan Bato in Angono, Rizal

Cataroja was tracked down in his hiding place in Villa Angelina, Sitio Mangahan, Bgy. San Isidro in Angono by local policemen around 4:38 p.m. Thursday.

He was presented to mediamen at this camp on Thursday night following his recapture.

Cataroja went missing for over a month and was suspected to have been killed and dumped inside a septic tank in the Bilibid.

According to Cataroja, he managed to escape from the NBP Maximum Security Compound on July 15 by pretending to be a visitor.

Cataroja’s escape triggered a massive corruption probe of anomalies taking place inside the national penitentiary.

The fugitive was declared missing by the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) since July 15, triggering a number of speculations, including the possibility he drove a service truck to flee the facility; that he has been murdered and his body thrown in a septic tank; or that he merely went into hiding inside the sprawling NBP compound.

A convicted car thief, Cataroja’s escape has been shrouded with mystery and prompted a full-length congressional investigation of purported anomalies still taking place inside the Bilibid Prisons and other BuCor-run jail facilities across the country.

Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin C. Remulla Jr. even went on air to reveal information that a human bone has been found underneath an NBP septic tank, leading to speculations it could be Cataroja’s remains.

However, forensic experts said the bone was not of a human but a mere chicken bone.

Armamento said that members of the Rizal Police Provincial Office headed by Col. Dominic L. Baccay caught the suspect after weeks of surveillance.

Officers from the Angono Municipal Police Station led by Maj. Lauro R. Moratillo were the ones who captured the suspect.

Cataroja was temporarily placed under the custody of the Angono Municipal Police Station for further investigation and filing of appropriate charges for violation of Article 157 of the Revised Penal Code otherwise known as evasion of sentence.

On orders of Philippine National Police chief Gen. Benjamin C. Acorda Jr., the Rizal Police Provincial Office fully secured the captured jailbird prior to his formal turnover to the BuCor in Muntinlupa City. By Alfred Dalizon, Gil Aman and Jane Eleda