Papua New Guinea's Opposition says the mass breakout at Buima prison in Morobe province is a sign of government failure to reform a tired corrective institutions system.
73 prisoners cut through two fences and overpowered three warders in last Thursday's breakout at the Buimo facility in Lae city.
Two have been recaptured and one shot dead as a police hunt for them has spread beyond the provincial borders for the 70 remaining at large.
A senior opposition MP Bart Philemon says while breakouts have been regular occurrences for years, they often now involve dozens of prisoners at a time.
"And that is the reflection of not only the corrective institutions but institutions in general throughout the government system. Some are more evident as is the case of Correctional Institutions Services. Others are slowly deteriorating."