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Kentex factory fire probe to continue even after settlement –Palace

The government will continue its investigation on the deadly Kentex factory fire in Valenzuela last May even after some of the victims’ relatives agreed to settle with the company, Malacañang said Tuesday.

In a text message, deputy presidential spokesperson Usec. Abigail Valte acknowledged the victims’ families have the prerogative to accept any settlement.

“It must be respected,” Valte told reporters.

The Palace official, however, said that the victims’ families’ decision to settle with Kentex will not affect the government’s ongoing probe on the fire incident, which left over 70 people dead.

“Any settlement cannot bind government in as far as investigations on violations of existing rules and regulations are concerned,” Valte said.

Earlier in the day, Kentex lawyer Renato Paraiso announced that families of 57 fire victims agreed to a P151,000 settlement with the company.
The Bureau of Fire Protection, which is currently leading the probe on the fire incident, earlier said the factory did not have a fire safety clearance.

The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) had also said that Kentex violated the Labor Code by hiring workers through CJC Manpower Services, an unregistered manpower agency.

Paraiso, however, maintained their camp followed all fire safety measures and labor laws.

Earlier this month, President Benigno Aquino III also directed authorities to look into possible liabilities of Valenzuela local government officials over the deadly fire incident. —Andreo Calonzo/KBK, GMA News