Fire hits Comelec building; probers checking for arson
MANILA, Philippines — A fire hit the seventh floor of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) headquarters at Palacio del Gobernador in Intramuros, Manila, on Sunday evening.
Initial reports said the blaze started shortly before 7 p.m. and was put out by firefighters around 8:15 p.m.
The Comelec has offices on the fifth, seventh, and eighth floors of the building, which is also the office address of the Intramuros Administration and other agencies.
Servers, vaults safe
Early Sunday evening, Comelec spokesperson John Rex Laudiangco said one section of Comelec’s Information Technology Department (ITD) on the seventh floor was affected.
But he added that all Comelec servers and vaults at the ITD and all equipment and documents in all offices and departments at the main office were safe, intact, undamaged, and secure.
He and Comelec Executive Director Bartolome Sinocruz were outside the Palacio that night.
“Comelec security reported all personnel are safe and all accounted for. BFP (Bureau of Fire Protection) is on top of the situation and the fire is under control,” Laudiangco later told reporters.
Yet in another statement late Sunday night, Laudiangco said “arson investigation is being conducted accordingly.”
The fire reached the second alarm at 7:02 p.m., was placed under control at 8:05 p.m., and was eventually put out at 8:16 p.m., according to the BFP.
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