PNP conducts probe on Chuzon Supermarket collapse in Porac

Robie de Guzman   •   April 25, 2019   •   2520

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine National Police (PNP) has started its investigation on the Chuzon Supermarket building in Porac, Pampanga that collapsed shortly after Monday’s magnitude 6.1 earthquake that hit several Luzon areas.

PNP Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) region 3 chief Col. Cris Abrahano said they have started probing some of the documents obtained, including the floor and building plans and the list of Chuzon grocery employees in its Porac branch.

Abrahano said they will use these documents to help assess the structural integrity of Chuzon grocery and whether this was built using sub-standard materials. They will also probe if the building had complied with all the necessary requirements for construction.

Authorities are also planning to talk with several witnesses, building experts and concerned government agencies regarding thee investigation.

“Subject ng investigation natin ‘yun dahil kailangan natin ang tulong ng building official diyan at ng DPWH na siya namang naatasan na mag-enforce ng building code, so isa ‘yan sa subject ng investigation natin,” Abrahano said.

The PNP-CIDG’s investigation comes after the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) ordered an assessment of all Chuzon supermarket buildings’ structural integrity and the actual cause of the collapse of its branch in Porac.

The DPWH earlier said that although a private establishment, there is still a need to check on the cause of the structural failure as the building was constructed only four years ago.

A forensic investigation is also being conducted on the samples taken from the collapsed supermarket to determine the possible liability that may be faced by the owner of the supermarket.

“‘Yung kanilang explanation ang sinabi ay sub-standard materials, sinagot ni [DPWH] Sec. [Mark] Villar ‘yun e kahapon pero ang sabi nya ipapatawag muna yung may-ari para mag-shed light,” said Edgar Posadas, Director of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management (NDRRMC).

President Rodrigo Duterte earlier ordered the suspension of business operations of Chuzon stores to give way to the investigation.

READ: Duterte suspends business operations of Chuzon stores in Pampanga

At least 16 people were killed in Monday’s quake, based on data from the NDRRMC.

Five of the fatalities were from the collapsed grocery store, seven from different barangays in Porac, two from Lubao and one in Pampanga. One fatality was also reported in San Marcelino, Zambales.

The PNP-CIDG said they will complete the investigation as soon as possible in order to file the appropriate charges.

“As soon as possible at as soon as maayos din yun mga technical inspection kasama yung DPWH at mainterview natin yung mga witnessess at ma-check ang mga papel na binigay nila sa amin. Kung mayroong mga lapses na makita ay mabigyan kaagad ng hustisya yung mga biktima natin,” Abrahano said. – Robie de Guzman

PNP eyes lifestyle check on cops to stop corruption

Aileen Cerrudo   •   October 30, 2020

The Philippine National Police (PNP) said it will also conduct lifestyle checks among its ranks following President Rodrigo Duterte’s order to end corruption in the government.

PNP Chief PGen. Camilo Cascolan said the agency will also make changes in the process of PNP frontline services to prevent corruption in the release of documents.

“Susundin po namin iyan by the book (We will follow it by the book) and we will strictly implement to those people who are actually violating and coming up with corruption practices,” he said.

Cascolan also assured to strictly monitor and file appropriate charges against PNP officials proven to be involved in irregularities or any form of corruption.

“We’ll we have stiff penalties with regard to that and they will be
given sanctions. We will also file cases against them if needed,” he said. AAC (with reports from Lea Ylagan)

Roque to ask Duterte on possibility of voluntarily disclosing SALN

Robie de Guzman   •   October 29, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque on Thursday said he will ask President Rodrigo Duterte if he is willing to voluntarily release his statement of assets, liabilities, and net worth (SALN) following the strict rules imposed by the Ombudsman on the access to the wealth declaration of officials.

Roque said the president’s office is just following the guidelines issued by the Ombudsman.

“Mag-uusap po kami ng ating president at para matapos na po itong issue na ito, ay tatanungin ko po baka naman po magbigay ng permiso ang president para isapubliko ang kaniyang SALN,” he said.

The Ombudsman recently issued a memorandum circular restricting access to the SALN of public officials.

The circular states that a copy of a public official’s SALN may only be released if the requestor is an authorized representative of the declarant or the person who filed the document; if there is a court order in relation to a pending case, and if the request is made by the Ombudsman’s field investigation units.

Prior to the issuance of the circular, Roque said Duterte had released his SALN yearly.

“Wala pong itinatago ang ating president, bago po maglabas ng ganitong guidelines ang Ombdusman, taon-taon naman po inilalabas ng president ang kaniyang SALN,” he said.

The question of whether Duterte will voluntarily publicize his own net worth resurfaced after the 2019 SALN of 24 senators were released by the Senate on Thursday. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Rosalie Coz)



Proposed order for price cap on COVID-19 tests awaiting Duterte decision – Palace

Robie de Guzman   •   October 29, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – A proposed executive order that will impose a price cap on coronavirus disease (COVID-19) tests is now awaiting the signature of President Rodrigo Duterte, Malacañang said Thursday.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said the Department of Health’s (DOH) Technical Working Group (TWG) submitted the proposal after completing its review on the recommended price cap.

Roque refused to divulge the recommended price ceiling on coronavirus testing in private hospitals and laboratories but he expressed optimism that the president will approve the proposal.

“Hintayin po muna natin ang desisyon ng president. Why is that? Kasi yung iba naman, napakataas ng sinisingil, alam naman natin, pwedeng mas mura yang testing na yan,” he said in a televised briefing.

Roque said the proposal seeks to make COVID-19 testing affordable and could help boost the government’s contact tracing and mass testing efforts.

“Para mas maging affordable ang testing sa ating mga kababayan ng sa gayong paraan ay mas maraming matetesting,” he said.

The DOH earlier recommended the placing of a price ceiling after observing differences in the COVID-19 testing cost in various laboratories and hospitals in the country. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Rosalie Coz)

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