DepCor details escape of Meisy Aliwis - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

DepCor details escape of Meisy Aliwis

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Last Tuesday prison officials reported 26-year-old accused rapist Meisy Aliwis missing from the Mangilao compound. But upon his capture Wednesday night, he told authorities he had escaped since Saturday. How was this possible?   

In a press conference held on Wednesday, DepCor leadership provided the findings from their preliminary investigation.  

Nine Department of Corrections officers have been placed on administrative leave as a result of an ongoing investigation involving last week's prison break. "The preliminary findings show that these officers in question were derelict in their duties in ensuring that Mr. Aliwis remained in custody at the Department of Corrections," according to deputy director Carla Borja. It's also been confirmed that Aliwis had been on the run for days before he was reported missing.

Borja continued, "The preliminary findings indicate that Mr. Aliwis did in fact escape from the confinement of the Department of Corrections on Saturday, May 16 between the hours of 2am and 3am. He is suspected of escaping from custody by climbing over the perimeter fence."

DepCor director Jose San Agustin notes the employees in question withheld such information and anticipates more employees will be issued notices of adverse action as the investigation continues. "I have reason to believe that the officers in that building did know that Mr. Aliwis was missing but did not inform management in a timely matter," he said.

At the time of Aliwis' escape, DepCor states there was a sufficient number of officers on duty. As a result of the escape however, there's suddenly a shortage of manpower. "We are now in a 12-hour shift. What we decided to do was have the folks work on a 6-day on, one day off. Initially we try to give them two days off, five days on. This now puts some pressure, some stress on the officers now who have to stand in that extra duty," said San Agustin.

It was thanks to a multi-agency search and community assistance that Aliwis was captured early Wednesday evening in the Barrigada area. Upon his capture, he detailed just how he removed himself from Post 18 and the Mangilao compound. According to Aliwis, he was able to scale fences and jump fences by getting access to the roof. From there, it was out and under the exterior fences and into his girlfriend's arms.

According to San Agustin, it took roughly an hour for Aliwis to make the escape. Had officers observed he was missing sooner, he notes they could've prevented it.

Nonetheless, DepCor leadership are holding themselves accountable for the oversight. San Agustin said, "The deputy and myself will do everything we need to do with regards to ensuring that we hold each and everyone responsible for the action has led to where we are at today. I will mention that myself and the deputy take full responsibility with regards to Mr. Aliwis leaving the agency. But as you all know, it starts from the top."

Meanwhile, interviews are ongoing and the findings from the internal investigation are anticipated to be completed by July 17.

In light of the recent incident over the escape, the Committee on Public Safety will be holding an oversight hearing next Tuesday. Committee chairman Senator Frank Aguon, Jr. is calling DepCor to the Guam Legislature to answer questions over the internal investigation on the escape, information on the condition of Post 18 and efforts to correct inefficiencies within the agency's personnel, rules and regulations and facilities. The oversight will also discuss other separate DepCor issues such as the DOC settlement agreement. The oversight is set for June 2 at the Guam Legislature.

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