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Palace not concerned about raps filed vs. Roxas, Baldoz over Valenzuela fire

Malacañang is not concerned about the charges filed by families of victims and survivors of the May 13 Kentex fire in Valenzuela City against Interior Secretary Mar Roxas and Labor Sec. Rosalinda Baldoz.

At a press briefing on Monday, presidential spokesman Sec. Edwin Lacierda said the Cabinet officials can answer the complainants’ allegations of negligence.

"What we are very confident is that the Secretary of Labor and Employment and Secretary of DILG, Mar Roxas, will be able to address those concerns," Lacierda said. "Hindi po kami nababahala doon sa mga kasong isinampa ng abugado."

Earlier in the day, bereaved family members and survivors of the factory fire in Valenzuela filed a letter-complaint before the Office of the Ombudsman seeking a probe on Roxas, Baldoz and six other government officials.

The complainant argued that these officials’ neglect of their duties led to the fire, which left 72 people dead.

Remigio Saladero Jr., the complainants’ lawyer, said his clients were "reluctant" to file charges against local officials of Valenzuela, after the assistance that has been extended to them.

Last week, President Benigno Aquino III blamed Valenzuela City officials for the fire. He said the city government should not have given a business permit to Kentex without the required fire safety certificate.

Lacierda, for his part, said assistance to the fire victims’ families will continue despite charges they filed against national government officials.

“Ang aming concern, really, is to address the concerns of the people there,” he said. —KBK, GMA News