PNP identifies all but one of 74 Kentex fire victims
Of the 74 fatalities in the fire that razed the Kentex Manufacturing Corp. slipper factory in Valenzuela City last May, only one has yet to be identified, according to the Philippine National Police (PNP).
The last to be identified through DNA testing were a male and female, Senior Supt. Emmanuel Aranas of the PNP Crime Laboratory told reporters in a briefing at Camp Crame on Tuesday.
The man was Jony Descallar while the woman was Marvy Marcelino, he said.
Of the total number of fatalities, 28 were males while 45 were females. The police, however, have yet to determine the gender of the last unidentified victim, referred to as No. 35.
“No DNA samples can be extracted from the victim since [the body] was burned completely, leaving no [available] specimen for DNA identification, even the dentures, if any,” Aranas said.
According to him, the PNP Crime Laboratory cannot assume that the last unidentified body is that of the remaining claimant.
“We cannot just do that since we need positive identification through scientific means,” Aranas told reporters. For this reason, victim No. 35 will remain unidentified, he added.
According to Aranas, they will inform the family of the remaining claimant that the PNP was unable to recover their kin’s remains. The bad news, however, is that they cannot claim death benefits as they will not be issued a death certificate.
Aranas said they could not issue a death certificate for the unidentified victim as this would be a violation of the country’s laws. The law allows a declaration of presumptive death after several years.
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