Manila: Thirteen inmates, most of them jailed on murder charges, escaped from a jail in central Philippines, a local paper said.

Police ordered a massive manhunt for the inmates who escaped from a jail house in Sagay City Wednesday afternoon, regional police director Chief Superintendent Agrimero Cruz told the Inquirer.

The jail guards were investigated by the Bureau of Jail Management Penology in Sagay City, said Cruz.

Initial investigations showed that an inmate, Rolando Bajo, pointed a calibre .38 revolver at jail guard Jover Valenzuela, and another inmate, Rey Villanueva, disarmed the guard.

As other inmates simultaneously pointed sharp objects at the other jail guards, Bajo shot and destroyed the jail’s padlock, Cruz said.

The missing inmates included one jailed in a robbery case.

Philippine jails are notoriously lax, with jail guards vulnerable to bribery and other forms of corruption.

Dozens of jailbreaks occur in the Philippines each year due to dilapidated prisons.