16 undergo inquest over substandard steel
MANILA, Philippines—Five Chinese nationals and 11 Filipinos underwent inquest proceedings on Thursday after they were found to have been storing P37 million worth of substandard construction materials in a warehouse in Laguna province.
This was after the police on Monday raided a factory in Barangay (village) Bantic in Cabuyao town that allegedly yielded substandard steel bars, angle bars and low-grade rolled bars of different sizes.
Along with the police were Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) representatives who served the search warrant issued by the Cavite Regional Trial Court on the suspects.
The operation was under the orders of Rehabilitation czar Panfilo Lacson, through DTI Secretary Gregory Domingo, to investigate the proliferation of substandard materials that might be shipped to “Yolanda”-hit areas.
The CIDG was earlier tapped by Lacson to look into the reports on the overpriced yet substandard bunkhouses for Yolanda survivors.
Based on the warrant of arrest, it was revealed that the warehouse with a registered name South Luzon Steel Industrial Corporation is owned by a certain Luis Go, who was not present during the search.
Elizabeth Jasmin, Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) spokesperson, told INQUIRER.net in a phone interview that the Laguna police withheld the names of the Chinese suspects pending verification.
Jasmin said the police are still coordinating with the Bureau of Immigration for the proper disposition of the arrested Chinese nationals.
Violations of Republic Act 7394, or the Consumer Act of the Philippines, have been filed against the 11 remaining suspects.
Last July 8, the CIDG searched a warehouse of Steeltower Steel Corporation, also owned by Chinese nationals, in Cavite province and it yielded substandard or uncertified construction materials worth P40 million.
Steeltower Steel Corporation is owned by Alex Go, Andrew Go, Jason Ang, James Ang and Jintuan Wu, police said.
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