No proof of sabotage in Pililla tragedy


The contractor that employed the workers who were killed when a four-story-high metal scaffolding collapsed inside the smokestack of a power plant in Pililla, Rizal, may end up not being charged in court.

According to Chief Inspector Resty Soriano, Pililla police chief, nothing in their investigation has so far suggested that the Feb. 3 incident was the result of sabotage so they could not file charges of reckless imprudence resulting in multiple homicide and multiple physical injuries against East West Works Industrial Services Inc.

“When you say ‘reckless imprudence,’ it means that somebody sabotaged something. It’s difficult to establish [the contractor’s] criminal liability at this time,” Soriano said.

The police will wrap up their inquiry into the incident Monday.

Five workers of East West Works were killed while 12 others were injured after part of the metal scaffolding they were working on as they cleaned the inside of the 70-meter-high, eight-meter-wide smokestack of the SPC Malaya Powerplant collapsed.

While Soriano acknowledged that the injured and kin of the dead victims could initiate the filing of criminal charges against the contractor, no one has yet done so.

He said this may be due to the financial assistance extended to the victims by the contractor.

“We’ve been waiting for any one of them to [file charges] but so far, nothing,” Soriano added.

But in spite of the police finding that the incident was not caused by sabotage, there were lapses on the part of the contractor as shown by the results of their investigation, he said.

However, he clarified that these were not criminal in nature so the sanctions against the firm, should there be any, would come from the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE).

The labor department is conducting a separate inquiry into whether or not the contractor complied with labor standards and implemented the necessary measures specified by the law to ensure the safety of its workers.

So far, DOLE Region 4-A Director Alex Avila said that the contractor was not registered with the department and does not have any existing construction and safety and health program  approved by DOLE.

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  • Harry

    Did the authorities investigate the structure of the scaffolds? If proven faulty, the gross negligence of the contractor can be almost criminal because of the number of workers involved. The way the case was treated means that the contractor can use the same scaffolds in his other projects since it was never found to be defective.  

  • boybakal

    No proof of sabotage in Pililla tragedy…how could there be Sabotage in Accident.
    Negligence perhaps….

  • AlexanderAmproz

    The sabotage is the cultural greed hidden in the carelessness 

  • Loggnat

    The DOLE and the police should have combined, cooperated, and coordinated its assets and personnel to conduct the investigation together. They could have shared and acquired important skills and knowledge from each other plus the experience of proper cooperation and coordination to do joint operation.

  • TagaDumantay

    As I said earlier, SPC Malaya Power Plant should be the one investigated for negligence. The plant operator has the mandate to operate and maintain the plant safely. SPC should get the services from qualified contractor.
    The police stated contractor cannot be charge with reckless imprudence since no indication of sabotage. Then why a tractor driver hit lady crossing the street in the wee hour of night is charged with reckless imprudence. Did the driver sabotage the situation.
    Really money talks in here. Pity are the poor workers; the government is taking the side of rich. In Malaysia, SPC  will be close by the government until the completing the investigation and CEO answered for his failure to implement safety standard. If I’m not mistaken SPC means Shell Philippines Corporation. This case will better prosper if file in Haig Netherland where Shell Global reside. A lot of lawyers in there will take the case for percentage of award $$$$.

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