Jun 23, 2021 @ 21:47

Dismissal of cases vs Rex Gatchalian over deadly Kentex fire upheld by SC

The Supreme Court has affirmed the dismissal of the string of charges filed against Valenzuela City Mayor Rexlon Gatchalian in connection with 2015 Kentex footwear fire tragedy that claimed the lives of 74 people.

This, as the SC upheld the separate rulings by the Sandiganbayan and Court of Appeals dismissing the graft and administrative charges filed against him, respectively.

” WHEREFORE, in the light of the foregoing, the Court resolves to DENY both Petitions for Review. Accordingly, in G.R. No. 230679, the Court AFFIRMS the Decision dated 28 November 2016 and Resolution dated 20 March 2017 of the Court of Appeals in CA-GR SP No. 144428, while in G.R. Nos, 232228-30, it AFFIRMS the Joint Resolution dated 13 December 2016 _and Resolution dated 08 June 201 7 of the Sandiganbayan in Criminal Cases Nos. SB-16-CRM-0802, SB-16-CRM-0803 and SB-16-CRM-0804, ” the 23-page decision by the SC 1st Division read.

The May 13, 2015 fire led to the deaths of 74 individuals and the injury of many others. The fire raised the issue of unsafe labor conditions for workers in the country.

The Office of the Special Prosecutor has insisted before the SC the liability of Gatchalian.

It stressed that the decision of the Sandiganbayan to dismiss the two graft cases as well as reckless imprudence resulting in multiple homicides and physical injuries case should be reversed

It added that Gatchalian and his co-accused “are attempting to dodge liability” by justifying the issuance of a business permit in favor of Kentex despite the lack of fire safety inspection certificate (FSIC).

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