DOJ creates panel to review reports on Kentex fire incident
The Department of Justice (DOJ) has created a special panel to evaluate various reports on the seven-hour fire that gutted Kentex Manufacturing Corp. and killed 72 people on May 13.
Justice Secretary Leila de Lima said the panel was directed to review all relevant official government reports on the Kentex fire incident primarily the Inter-Agency Anti-Arson Task Force (IATF) report and determine the possible criminal and administrative case to be filed under the Revised Penal Code, Revised Fire Code (RA9514), Republic Act No. 3019 or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act, Revised Administrative Code, Civil Service Law, Local Government Code and other relevant laws.
The panel will also analyze documentary evidence and conduct further inquiry on the agencies that investigated the incident.
“After all the necessary and available evidence is completed and reviewed, the panel shall identify the specific criminal and administrative offenses to be charged and the specific private individuals and public officials who shall be charged therewith, with an enumeration of the evidence to be used for each case against each individual, and whether the same shall be filed with the appropriate public prosecutor of the National Prosecution Service or the Office of the Ombudsman or any other appropriate body,” the order released on Wednesday stated.
“In this regard, the panel shall also assist in the preparation of the necessary complaints to be filed either with the public prosecutor or the Office of the Ombudsman, for criminal cases, and with the appropriate disciplining authority or body, in the case of administrative cases,” De Lima said.
The panel has 30 days to submit their findings.
De Lima said if there was enough time, the panel would also be required to review and evaluate the evidence made available by the Department of Labor and Employment.
Under Department Order No. 402, the panel is headed by Senior Assistant State Prosecutor Roberto Lao. Members include Assistant State Prosecutors Olivia Torrevillas and Ma. Cristina Barot and state counsels Margarette Robles, Consuelo Corazon Pazziuagan and Dioxenos Sulit. RC
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