Facebook gives away escapee from Baybay jailBy Rachel Arnaiz
CATARMAN, Northern Samar—The social networking site Facebook proved to be no safe haven for fugitives in the case of this 37-year-old man who faces a murder case and bolted jail two years ago.
Joey del Monte, 37, was recaptured on Monday in a village of Lapinig town in Northern Samar after his Facebook account yielded enough pieces of information to lead police to where he has been hiding.
Police records said Del Monte had been detained at a jail in Baybay City in 2000 for a murder case filed against him at Leyte Regional Trial Court Branch 14.
Del Monte, an electronics and communications engineering graduate, has been charged with the fatal shooting on March 18, 2000, of a certain Rodin Lopez, a friend of Del Monte, during a drinking binge. Del Monte was 25 years old then.
In January 2010, Del Monte and eight other inmates bolted the Baybay City jail and for more than two years succeeded in eluding police until Supt. Isaias Bañez Tonog, Northern Samar police chief, got a tip that Del Monte was among the hundreds of millions of people worldwide who kept a Facebook account.
Tonog checked Facebook and found Del Monte’s account with the fugitive’s picture holding a rifle and a 9-mm pistol.
His Facebook account yielded more data about Del Monte. It stated his address as Barangay 185, Malaria Road, Caloocan City.
Tonog and his men learned from comments posted on Del Monte’s Facebook account that he was actually in Lapinig town.
Tonog called up a policeman from the town who confirmed that Del Monte is a native of Lapinig.
Police continued to monitor Del Monte’s Facebook account until the most crucial piece of information came out—the fugitive’s announcement in Facebook’s “Events” section that he would attend a family reunion on Monday in Lapinig that was scheduled to be held in the town plaza at night.
Superintendent Tonog said he quickly sent a police team to Lapinig on Monday to locate Del Monte. There, police found Del Monte having lunch at a cousin’s house past noon. The fugitive did not resist arrest, said Tonog.
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