Army Brig Gen Virgilio Espineli, the deputy regional military commander, said on Tuesday that guards fired shots to try to stop the prisoners from fleeing, and some returned. He didn't have a clear number for those who escaped.

"Where will they go? What will they eat?" Espineli said. The jail held about 600 prisoners. He says the military was trying to help the public while also dealing with its own problems, such as the destruction of buildings that housed 1,000 soldiers stationed in Leyte province.


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