Probers seek raps vs Valenzuela Mayor Gatchalian over Kentex fire
The Inter-Agency Anti-Arson Task Force (IATF) has recommended the filing of criminal and administrative case against Valenzuela Mayor Rex Gatchalian and several others in connection with the May 13 factory fire that killed 72 people.
Aside from Gatchalian, also recommended for possible prosecution for violation of Republic Act 9514, or the Fire Code, and violation of Republic Act 3019, or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act, are lawyer Renchi May Padayao, Officer-in-Charge, Business Permit and Licensing Office (BPLO) of Valenzuela City; Eduardo Carreon, Licencing Officer IV, Valenzuela BPLO; Fire Superintendent Mel Jose Lagan, Fire Inspector Edgrover Oculam, head of the Valenzuela Fire Safety Enforcement Section; and Senior Fire Officer 2 Rolando Avendan, a fire safety inspector.
The IATF recommended that the officers be also administratively charged.
It also proposed the prosecution of officers and employees of Kentex for violation of Article 365 of the Revised Penal Code for Reckless Imprudence resulting in multiple homicide and multiple physical injuries. These included Terrence King Ong, Kentex operations manager; Oscar Romero, employee of Ace Shutter Corp., the company that is doing the welding work at Kentex; Wilmer Arenal, employee, Ace Shutter Corp and Rosalina Uy Ngo, owner of Ace Shutter Corp.
The panel, on the other hand, recommended further investigation on other officers of Kentex such as Ong King Guan and Beato Ang.
The case against the Kentex and Ace Shutter officers and employees will be filed before the Valenzuela Prosecutors Office while the case against Gatchalian and the other local officials will be forwarded before the Office of the Ombudsman for further preliminary investigation.
On the other hand, the panel also recommended further investigation on officials of the Department of Labor and Employment-National Capital Region for issuing a certificate of compliance in September 2014 in favor of Kentex.
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