33 individuals may face charges due to NCCC mall fire

Published June 8, 2018, 6:11 PM

by Roel Tibay

By Antonio Colina IV

DAVAO CITY – Thirty-three individuals have been recommended for filing of the criminal and administrative cases due to the NCCC Mall Davao fire incident on December 23, 2017 that killed 38 individuals, according to the result of the investigation of the Interagency Anti-Arson Task Force (IAATF).

A month after a fire claimed the lives of 38 persons, the once bustling façade of NCCC Mall in Davao City is now bereft of any activity. (Keith Bacongco)
(Keith Bacongco / MANILA BULLETIN)

But Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) officer-in-charge Eduardo Año told a press conference at the SMX Convention Center Davao on Friday that the Department of Justice (DOJ) is still “assessing and validating” the cases to be filed against responsible individuals, three months after DILG submitted the investigation result and recommendations.

Año could not ascertain the target completion of the DOJ’s review as well as the timeline for the filing of cases.

“The result of the assessment of DOJ, it will be entirely their own business. While waiting, we want the public to know the result of the investigation. We are talking of 38 families here, 38 victims. Dapat malaman anong nagyayari sa investigation (They should know what happened to the investigation),” he added.

He added that he understood why it might take time for DOJ to complete the review, as it’s handling several cases from all over the country.

He urged the agency to DOJ to complete it, as they “need to answer the clamor of the public to give justice to the 38 victims.”

“The DOJ handles cases all over the country, siguro sa dami ng cases na hina-handle nila medyo mabagal ang proseso (maybe because they are handling several cases, that’s why the process is slow),” he said.

However, the names of the responsible individuals, including owners and officers of NCCC Mall, SSI, and officials from Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) 11, City Building, Philippine Economic Zone Authority, and private contractors of the mall, who would face possible administrative and criminal charges were released.

Fire Safety Insp. Jan Garry D. Lunas, chief of the Fire Science and Standard Development Division and Directorate for Plans and Standards at the Bureau of Fire (BFP), said cases for possible violation of reckless imprudence resulting to multiple homicide and multiple physical injuries may be filed against Helen A. Lim, Lafayette A. Lim, Ivy Michelle A. Lim, Sharlene Faye A. Lim, Ivan Spencer A. Lim, Julie Ann C. Lim, Ramon Del Castillo.

According to him, similar charges may be filed against officers of Survey Sampling International (SSI) such as Jose Antonio T. San Gabriel, Riza Lyn M. Ocampo, Rey R. Roble, Christopher M. Fanning, and David Ian Weatherseed; AC Rockport Construction and Development officers and project engineers such as Arturo C. Arrojado, Carmelie P. Arojado, Maria Lilibeth A. Olarte, Danna Patricia P. Arrojado, Carmen S. Paluga, and Engr. Wilson Velasquez.

Also, he added that charges for possible violation of RA 3019 or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act may be filed against Former Davao City Building Official Joan B. Cui, Jr.; Sansaluna A. Pinagayao, Darlyn Nazareno, and Nicasio G. Mamites of PEZA; Supt. Carlo T. Dueñas, SInsp. Jeanny S. Calvario, Insp. Renero G. Jimenez, Senior Fire Officer (SFO) 4 Dioscoro M. Baja Jr., SFO 2 Joel L. Quismundo, SFO 1 Roger B. Dumag, and SFO1 Leo C. Lauzon.

Other charges for possible violation of RA9514 or the Revised Fire Code of the Philippines of 2008 may be filed against Calvario, Baja, Quismundo, Dumag, and Lauzon, and PEZA plan evaluator Arvin O. Tero; separate charges for violation of Revised Penal Code (RPC) against Quismundo, Lauzon, and Tero.

While less grave misconduct for Simple Misconduct may be filed against former Davao City Fire Marshall and now BFP 11 assistant regional director Supt. Honey Fritz A. Alagano and CInsp. Edgar W. Tanawan.