Probe sought into safety of Iloilo Hall of Justice following Bohol quake | Inquirer News
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Probe sought into safety of Iloilo Hall of Justice following Bohol quake

/ 10:04 AM October 23, 2013

Former Iloilo Representative Augusto “Boboy” Syjuco File Photo

MANILA, Philippines—Former Iloilo Representative Augusto Syjuco Jr. asked Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno to look into the “viability, capability and sustainability” of the Iloilo Hall of Justice.

In a letter to the Chief Justice through Court Administrator Jose Midas Marquez, Syjuco also urged the investigation and possible prosecution of Senate President Franklin Drilon and several others responsible for its construction.

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Syjuco said the building suffered major cracks due to a 5.7 earthquake last Feb. 6, 2012. As a consequence, the courts and other offices have since been scattered around Iloilo City.

The Department of Public Works and Highways Regional Office VI (DPWH RO6) recommended the demolition of the building but it’s head was replaced and the new one recommended the retrofitting instead of the demolition of the building.

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The retrofitting was opposed by several groups including the Integrated Bar of the Philippines, Western Visayas Chapter, IBP Iloilo chapter, Regional Trial Court Judges of Iloilo and court employees.

Despite the opposition, however, the retrofitting pushed through with P50million coming from the Priority Development Assistance Fund of Drilon, Syjuco said.

While the retrofitting was ongoing, another magnitude 5 earthquake occurred last week with the epicenter in Carmen, Bohol. He said more cracks appeared.

“This second Act of God confirmed the apprehension of the stakeholders of the Iloilo Hall of Justice that it is no longer safe for occupation…To compel [the employees] to return to the Iloilo Hall of Justice will expose them to imminent and inevitable danger that can cause their death,” Syjuco said.

Related Stories:

Affected persons in Central Visayas quake reduced to 2.9 million

P902M destroyed, 190 dead in Bohol quake and counting—NDRRMC

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TAGS: Augusto Syjuco Jr., Bohol, Cebu, dpwh, Earthquake, Franklin Drilon, Iloilo Hall of Justice, Safety
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