WE have in the past days been following up on our report on the fire incident at an illegal fuel depot owned by Margarito “Gary” So that killed two workers in Valenzuela City on September 23.
As in countless fire incidents that devastated people’s lives and properties, it now appears that the investigation by the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) has not resulted in the filing of charges against So.
The foot-dragging is leading nowhere but to a cover-up to absolve So, who operates the Royal Family Industrial company.
One of this culprit’s warehouses, which supposedly served as storage of recyclable used oil, was instead used as a depot for biofuel and gasoline delivered by “paihi” gang (pilferers).
I asked Fire Supt. Jonas Silvano, fire marshal of Valenzuela City, about the status of the arson case but all he could say is that the investigation continues.
It’s been over two weeks since two workers died in the fire of suspicious origin and all this Silvano can say is,”Nag-iimbestiga pa.”
Valenzuela City Mayor Rex Gatchalian himself believe that the BFP has more than enough evidence to support the filing of criminal charges against So.
“Nasa kanila na ang lahat, bakit hindi sila mag-file ng charges?” Gatchalian said.
Gatchalian said So’s establishment violated its building permit.
Violation of any provision of Presidential Decree 1185 or the Fire Code or any of its rules is penalized only by an administrative fine not exceeding P12,000 and/or stoppage of the operations or closure of the building.
It turned out that this So, who reportedly owns other businesses in Valenzuela City, is allegedly being shielded by so-called “General Divino,” whose mistress is a close relative of the Chinese businessman.
Now we know. Bukod sa natutulog sa pansitan at namamantikaan ang BFP, may padrino itong si So na pulpol na heneral.
It appears that the BFP Valenzuela station under Silvano is letting itself be cowed by this pulpol General Divino.
Adding insult to the two workers’ widowed families’ misery, So reportedly offered a measly P75,000 to each family to cover for the burial expenses.
Walang konsensiya ang hayup na negosyanteng ito!
In our interview with Silvano over our tele-radyo5 program Punto Asintado, my co-anchor Martin Andanar asked this fire marshall for an update on the horrific Kentex footwear factory fire in which 72 workers were trapped and burned to death.
All Silvano could say is, “Hindi ko alam kasi bago lang ako rito.”
In the first place, this newly-promoted BFP official was assigned to replace Supt. Mel Jose Lagan who was relieved and held accountable for the Kentex fire safety inspection clearance irregularity.
Kentex was one of the worst fire incidents in the country’s history, and this Silvano did not bother to know the status or the progress of the case.
Well, I would have to say the BFP now under its chief Fire Director Ariel Barayuga reflects the incompetence, inefficiency and corruption of the administration, as a whole.
Unfortunately, our calls for action to the Interior and Local Government Secretary Mel Senen Sarmiento and Department of Energy officer-in-charge Zenaida Monsada must have fallen on deaf ears.
Mga bingi! Mga inutil!
Duterte: Man of the people
Davao City Mayor Rody Duterte has asked the New People’s Army (NPA) to end the fighting and pursue a peaceful life under his presidency.
Duterte spoke during the 131st anniversary of Sta. Cruz town in Davao del Sur, one of the bastions of communist insurgency.
“Those who are NPAs raise your hands. Come on, don’t be shy,” he said, as majority in the crowd put their hands up.
The man of the hour also called on the Muslim rebels to lay down their arms.
This event simply illustrates not only Duterte’s strong connection with ordinary people but also his genuine agenda for national reconciliation, a far cry from the agenda of character assassination of the proclaimed aspirants for the May 2016 elections.
Well, let’s keep our fingers crossed.