by Emmanuel Tupas (The Philippine Star), Jun 10, 2018
MANILA, Philippines — At least 30 people could face criminal and administrative complaints in connection with the mall fire in Davao City in December 2017 that killed 38 people, the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) said.
DILG officer-in-charge Eduardo Año said yesterday the names of people who could be held liable for the fire at the New City Commercial Center (NCCC) are contained in the report of the Interagency Arson Task Force (IATF) which was submitted to the Department of Justice (DOJ) last March.
“We at DILG are currently waiting for the approval of the endorsements stated in the report and will immediately adhere to any recommended actions following the release of DOJ’s final resolution,” Año said.
“Rest assured that those responsible for this tragedy will be made accountable,” he added.
The people facing cases for reckless imprudence resulting in multiple homicide and physical injuries are NCCC officers Helen Lim, Lafayette Lim, Ivy Michelle Lim, Sharlene Faye Lim, Ivan Spencer Lim, Julie Ann Lim and Ramon del Castillo.
Facing the same charges are Jose Antonio San Gabriel, Riza Lyn Ocampo, Rey Roble, David Ian Weatherseed and Christopher Fanning of Survey Samping International Philippines; and Arturo Arrojado, Carmelie Arrojado, Danna Patricia Arrojado, Maria Lilibeth Olarte, Carmen Paluga and Wilson Velasquez of AC Rockport Construction and Development Corp.
Meanwhile, Sansulana Pinagayo, Darlyn Nazareno and Nicasio Mamites of the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA); former city hall building official Joaquin Cui Jr.; Supt Carlo Duenas, Senior Insp. Jeanny Calvario, Insp. Renero Jimenez, Senior Fire Officer 4 Dioscoro Baja Jr., Senior Fire Officer 2 Joel Quismundo, Senior Fire Officer 1 Roger Dumag, and Senior Fire Officer Leo Lauzon of the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) are facing charges for alleged violation of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.
Calvario, Baja, Quismundo, Dumag, Lauzon, Supt. Honee Fritz Alagano, Chief Insp. Edgar Tanawan and Arvin Tero of PEZA are also facing charges for alleged violation of the Comprehensive Fire Code of the Philippines.
Some officials are also facing complaints for grave misconduct and falsification of public documents.
Año said the accused failed to exercise due diligence in ensuring safety compliance and requirements under the law, and allowed the NCCC to operate despite repeated violations.
He pointed out that sprinklers on the third and fourth floors of the mall were not working when the fire broke out.
“Thirty-eight lives were lost because of the apparent recklessness and negligence of several people, a tragedy which could have been avoided had the fire safety requirements of the Fire Code were followed and if the permit requirements were properly observed,” Año said.