Philippine police say 13 inmates, some accused of murder, have escaped from a provincial jail in a central province using a smuggled gun to disarm guards.

Police Senior Supt. Ricardo de la Paz says the inmates pointed a pistol and improvised knives at three guards, disarming one of them Wednesday in Sagay city in Negros Occidental province. One inmate fired at and destroyed a padlock at the main gate, allowing him and a dozen other inmates to make a dash to freedom.

Police scoured a vast sugarcane field but failed to find the inmates, three of whom were facing murder charges.

Dozens of jailbreaks occur in the Philippines each year due to lax security and dilapidated prisons, which have been derisively called among the most porous in the world.