Senate panel eyes probe on Customs fire
MANILA, Philippines — The Senate blue ribbon committee is considering to investigate the fire incident that happened at the Bureau of Customs (BOC) building in Port Area, Manila.
“We are considering investigating the issue, but we are still studying it and gathering data and evidence. The Blue Ribbon Committee can conduct investigations when warranted even if Congress is on recess,” Senator Richard Gordon, the committee chairman, said.
Gordon, chairman of the Committee on Accountability of Public Officers & Investigations or Blue Ribbon, disclosed that they wanted to investigate the fire as some documents and equipment were destroyed because they were drenched when the firefighters extinguished the flames.
Gordon added that the committee can conduct “motu proprio investigations into issues and controversies.”
On Feb. 23, the fire, which lasted for almost 10 hours, gutted the third and fourth floors of the BOC building.
The first and second floors of the building were not affected by the blaze but the documents and equipment were water damaged as firefighters extinguished the flames.
According to Customs Commissioner Rey Guerrero, the BOC has tasked its Intelligence Group and the Customs Intelligence and Investigation Service to determine the cause of the fire.
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