Employee responsible for Cebu municipal court fire — Gesmundo | Inquirer News

Employee responsible for Cebu municipal court fire — Gesmundo

/ 01:19 PM December 13, 2023

cebu municipal court fire

Chief Justice Alexander Gesmundo and (left to right) Associate Justices Mario Lopez, Ramon Paul Hernando, Chief Justice Gesmundo, Rodil Zalameda, Ricardo Rosario and Jose Midas Marquez at the CJ Meets the Press. (Photo: Tetch Torres-Tupas/INQUIRER.net)

MANILA, Philippines — An investigation by the police found out that a court employee was responsible for the fire that hit the Municipal Trial Court of Minglanilla, Cebu last Tuesday.

Chief Justice Alexander Gesmundo, during the CJ Meets The Press on Wednesday, said the information is based on the investigation provided by the Philippine National Police (PNP).


READ: Fire hits municipal trial court in Cebu


“Meron ng initial report na pinadala sa amin. Medyo problematic ang naging sitwasyon kasi court employee yung nagsunog. May problema yata siya, so ni-lock niya ‘yung pinto ng court at sinindihan niya ‘yung mga records,” Gesmundo said.

(We received an initial report. The situation is somewhat problematic because a court employee caused the fire. It seems he had some issues, so he locked the court door and set the records on fire.)

“Medyo naipit mga kasamahan niya; hindi agad nakalabas kaya maraming nadisgrasya, pero awa ng Diyos, lahat naman ay nasa pagamutan na at maayos ang kondisyon,” the Chief Justice added.

(His colleagues were trapped and couldn’t get out immediately, so there were some unfortunate incidents. But thank God, everyone is now in the hospital and in good condition.)

Gesmundo said he immediately called the Executive Judge in the area to assess the situation and inform him of what assistance could be extended.

“I assure Judge [Wilson T.] Ibones and the members of his staff who were injured in this unfortunate event that the Court will extend the necessary assistance to them. I also asked the Office of the Court Administrator and the Office of DCA Delorino to employ all measures needed to prevent such an incident from happening again,” Gesmundo said.


The initial report from Deputy Court Administrator (DCA) for Visayas Jenny Lind Alcodea-Delorino stated that past noon, a court utility worker allegedly started burning the records of disposed cases near his table. Those inside the courtroom were trapped because the worker locked both the door and windows.

The worker also started assaulting others using an old fluorescent tube-type bulb. Those who ran into the restroom were able to break the window and ask for help. A nearby traffic enforcer ran to the scene and broke the door open, prompting the staff members to escape.

The Judge and other injured staff were brought to the Minglanilla District Hospital, the San Lucas Hospital, and South General Hospital.

Regarding the court employee who set the court on fire, he said: “He committed suicide. He died.”

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TAGS: Cebu, Fire

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