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DOJ finishes probe on Kentex fire, to release report soon

/ 06:35 PM July 03, 2015

The Department of Justice (DOJ) has finished its review on the findings of an inter-agency task force that investigated the Kentex factory fire in Valenzuela City that killed 72 people on May 13.

Justice Secretary Leila de Lima, in a text message on Friday, said she had received the report of the special panel of prosecutors tasked to evaluate findings and come up with recommendations based on evidence gathered in the report of Inter-Agency Anti-Arson Task Force (IATF) composed of the Department of the Interior and Local Government, Bureau of Fire Protection, Philippine National Police, and National Bureau of Investigation.

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“I am now reviewing the report and might release it either next week or the week after,” she said.

The panel of prosecutors, which was created last month, had been tasked to “determine the possible criminal and administrative offenses committed in said incident under the Revised Penal Code, the Revised Fire Code (Republic Act No. 9514), the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act (RA3019), the Revised Administrative Code, the Civil Service Law, the Local Government Code, and other relevant laws.”

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Its members include Senior Assistant State Prosecutor Roberto Lao, Assistant State Prosecutors Olivia Torrevillas, and Ma. Cristina Barot; and state counsels Margarette Robles, Consuelo Corazon Pazziuagan, and Dioxenos Sulit.

She said criminal and administrative charges could be filed against Mayor Rex Gatchalian since business permits were being issued by a department under the mayor’s office.

Some of those recommended charged in the IAFT report were Ong King Guan and Terrence King Ong, owners of Kentex Manufacturing Corp., welder Oscar Romero and driver Nino Divino Provido.

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TAGS: Fire, Kentex, tragedy, valenzuela
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