DILG’s Año vows to sue culprits in deadly NCCC fire

DEPARTMENT of Interior and Local government (DILG) officer-in-charge Eduardo Año has vowed to file charges against those who have the accountability in the deadly Dec. 23, 2017, NCCC fire that killed 38 persons.

Año said the filing of charges is necessary because “we don’t want a repeat of such kind of incident.”

While the investigation is yet to be completed, Año said “more or less you have an idea why it happened and for sure someone is responsible for this.”

He lamented that the recklessness of some responsible individuals had caused so much loss of lives.

Año said the incident is very heartbreaking.

The DILG controls the Bureau of Fire Protection, which is investigating the incident.

The BFP initially relieved five fire officials assigned in the area. Three other retired BFP officials are also implicated.

The Inter-Agency Anti-Arson Task Force initially said that eight active and retired BFP officials assigned in the city may face charges in connection to the fire.

In an earlier interview, Sr. Supt. Jerry Candido, spokesperson of the task force, said they are still collating the documents from 2003 – the year that the NCC started operation — until the day of the fire.

Candido said they are tracing the names of all those who signed and approved the safety certificate, referring to the fire inspectors and the fire marshal, of the ill-fated mall.

“Without those documents, it’s unfair if we reveal names because we don’t have evidence,” Candido said.

Candido said they have requested the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to issue a subpoena to the district fire marshal to produce all the documents necessary to finish the investigation immediately.

He said the NCCC and SSI management may possibly be included in the charge for their failure to comply on the provisions of fire exits and automatic suppression system.

The task force has already finished its investigation in determining the cause of fire and the three main violations why the victims were trapped to death in the fourth floor.

“For now, we are in the process in determining the people who are liable on this,” Candido said.

The three violations that the task force noted were:
• The fire alarm of SSI was not linked with the shopping mall;
• The exit was not fire-proof;
• The automatic fire suppression systems, such as sprinklers, were not functioning.
Probers established that the fire was caused by electrical short circuit.
Thirty-seven of the victims were call center agents of the American-owned SSI, while the other one was a safety officer of the mall who braved to go to the fourth floor to lead other call agents to escape.

Tagged with: , , , , , , ,
Posted in under_HEADLINES1