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Baldoz ready to face case over Kentex fire 


Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz said she is ready to face the case filed against her before the Office of the Ombudsman by families of victims and survivors of the May 13 Kentex fire in Valenzuela City.
 
In a statement released Tuesday, Baldoz said although she has yet to receive an official copy of the complaint, she welcomes the opportunity to submit her answer.

"I respect the right of the workers to file a complaint for any official act or omission which they deemed I had committed," she added.

Families of victims and survivors of the May 13 Kentex fire in Valenzuela City are seeking administrative and criminal charges against eight government officials, including Baldoz and Interior Sec. Mar Roxas.
 
In a letter complaint filed before the Office of the Ombudsman Monday, victims and their kin said they "seek the formal investigation and the filing of appropriate charges," including negligence resulting in homicide and physical injuries, and neglect in the performance of functions against several government officials.
 
Meanwhile, Baldoz noted that it has its own team — the DOLE Administrative Complaint Committee — tasked to look into and investigate complaints filed against their officials and employees.
 
She said Labor officials tagged in the complaint have been asked by the committee to submit a written explanation.
 
She added that it will be up to the committee to evaluate the explanation and determine where actions will be taken against the officials.
 
Aside from Baldoz and Roxas, also included in the complaint are:

* DOLE NCR regional director Alex Avila
* DOLE NCR labor law compliance director Engr. Joseph Vedasto
* Bureau of Fire Protection chief Dir. Alex Barayuga
* BFP NCR chief Sr. Supt. Sergio Soriano Jr.
* Valenzuela fire marshal Supt. Mel Jose Lagan
* Fire Safety Enforcement Section chief Ed Groover Ocullam.
 
Attached to the letter complaint were sworn affidavits of 49 survivors and kin of victims.
 
Seventy-two people, most of them workers, were killed in the fire that razed the Kentex factory.
 
Remigio Saladero Jr., lawyer for the kin and survivors, said, "Sa tingin namin may kapabayaan ang mga nasabing opisyal sa pagsu-supervise sa kanilang mga tao para gampanan ang kanilang gawain na mabigyan ng kaukulang inspeksyon iyong Kentex para sana hindi nangyari iyong naganap na trahedya." - JJ, GMA News
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