NBI to probe Manila Pavilion fire

MANILA The Department of Justice (DOJ) has ordered the National Bureau of Investigation to conduct a probe on the fire that gutted the Waterfront Manila Pavilion Hotel and Casino in Ermita, Manila, which killed five persons.

In his Department Order (DO) No. 160 dated March 19 but was released to media on Tuesday, Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II ordered the NBI to conduct investigation and case build-up over the fire incident which razed the Manila Pavilion Hotel, last 18 March 2018, which led to a number of fatalities and injuries.

Aguirre also instructed the NBI to determine such facts and circumstances that resulted in the unfortunate event.

The NBI was also ordered to find out the criminal, civil and administrative liability of any agency, office and instrumentality of the government as well as the owners, managers and employees of the Manila Pavilion.

The DOJ chief has also ordered the filing of appropriate charges against those who will be found liable for the incident.

Superintendent Jonas Silvano, the District Fire Marshal of the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) for Manila, said the fire started at 9:52 a.m. Sunday at the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (Pagcor) area that is under renovation.

The blaze spread to the other areas of the 400-room hotel and raged for 24 hours until firefighters were able to extinguish the flames.

In its initial probe, the BFP said the fire started on the first floor of the building. However, it has yet to determine the cause of the fire.

It was learned that the second floor of the building was being used as the stock room of materials, as the hotel was under renovation.

Fire-out was declared at 10:56 a.m. Monday, more than 24 hours after the fire reportedly broke out.

Authorities identified the casualties as Pagcor treasury officer Edilberto Evangelista, assistant treasury officer Marilyn Omadto, security guard Billy Rey de Castro, and closed-circuit television (CCTV) operators Mark John Sabido and Jocris Banang.

Pagcor also confirmed on Monday that another Pagcor employee, Jennilyn Figueroa, who was revived Sunday from the fire, was in critical condition and under continued observation. (PNA)

Source: Philippine News Agency

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