We’re all victims, says unit owner
“We are also victims here,” Marianne Cayton Castillo said.
Castillo, 40, daughter of George Cayton, owner of Apartment 501B at Two Serendra in Bonifacio Global City in Taguig City, arrived from the United States Friday morning to help shed light on the explosion that ripped through the apartment on the night of May 31, killing three people and injuring five others.
Accompanied by her lawyer, Raymond Fortun, Castillo spoke to reporters after visiting one of the injured, Angelito San Juan, at St. Luke’s Hospital in Bonifacio Global City.
“We didn’t want anyone to get hurt. It is not our fault,” Castillo said.
Castillo, a resident of Anaheim, California, said the apartment was her family’s home whenever they came here for a vacation.
She said she had no clue as to what caused the explosion.
The apartment went through renovation, she said, but “everything was approved by Serendra.”
She said there was no renovations in the kitchen and no work was done involving the gas lines.
The bathroom tiles were changed, she said, and a new bedroom was added to the formerly one-bedroom apartment.
She said the work involved the electrical lines, but only because the new bedroom required outlets.
Castillo said she did not know whether the Serendra management checked the utility lines of the apartment during her family’s absence.
Castillo has yet to view the wrecked apartment when she spoke to reporters, as the first thing she did after arriving in Manila was see San Juan, 63, the occupant of the apartment, whom she described as a long-time family friend.
San Juan, also a resident of California, was renting Apartment 501B from the Caytons for nine days.
He arrived on May 31 to attend a friend’s wedding. He was leaving for dinner that night when an explosion ripped through the apartment, sending a concrete slab flying across the street below and smashing onto a passing delivery van.
The van’s driver and two of his crew were crushed to death. San Juan suffered second- and third-degree burns on his back, and remains under intensive care at St. Luke’s.
Castillo said doctors did not allow her to go near San Juan, whose condition Fortun described as “critical.”
Fortun said he and Castillo were going to the Philippine National Police headquarters in Quezon City to submit Castillo’s statement, papers involving the renovations, and photographs taken during the renovation work.
“We’re confident that when we submit the documents, it will become very clear there should be no reason the government should accuse Marianne Cayton (Castillo) of any involvement in the explosion,” Fortun told reporters.
Interior Secretary Mar Roxas annnounced Friday that investigators had found no traces of a bomb and that the explosion was most likely caused by gas.
Castillo extended her sympathies to the families of the three men killed in the blast, all employees of a chain of appliance stores.
“We pray that we all overcome this. No one wanted this. I am here to help in the investigation. I want this to be finished. I want to know what caused this so we can all have closure,” Castillo said.
Asked if she planned to sell the destroyed apartment, she replied, “I don’t know yet.”