By Ric Obedencio | 11:40 AM December 24, 2022

Tagbilaran City Mayor Jane Yap is determined that justice be served to victims/survivors of the fire that razed houses of coastal barangay Poblacion II, Tagbilaran city at dawn, two days before Christmas day.

“Deliberate or accidental, let’s give justice to the victims,” Mayor Yap told media press conference at Bohol Tropics resort here, where the supposed Christmas party for media people turned into grieving for the fire victims.

“I’m sorry, we cannot be as festive as we want to be,” she said in a somewhat teary eyed as she asked the media to give a little time of silence for the survivors and the dead.

The mayor said that she wanted the police and fire authorities to speed up the investigation so justice could be served.

City Fire marshal Bradpitt Lopez told media interview that Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) has already identified and located the “persons of interest.”

Police officer Josefino Hinlayagan said that “persons of interest” are not suspects as a response to a query if the “persons of interest” are at large.

Fire and police authorities vowed to dig deeper into the cause of the fire that damaged several houses made of light materials.

Governor Aris Aumentado said in his fb post that he wanted that charges be filed against those liable if pieces of evidence warrant.

3 dead, 75 families/321 persons displaced
Three persons (father, mother and a child) were found dead following the conflagration. The son was not around when fire struck the house as he, as an altar boy, slept at the church of Our Lady of Lourdes parish nearby to serve the Christmas dawn mass the following day.

“Tulo ang recovered dead body (papa,mama ug anak) nga na kit-an ga gakos sa 2nd Floor sa balay kun diin ga sugod ag sunog sa ilang ground floor,” Mayor Yap said. (Three bodies who embraced each other were recovered at the second floor of the house where the fire believed to be the source).

The fatalities were identified as Edgar Manzano, 56; Remedios Baluca; and their 10-year old child, Meyer Manzano, the mayor told the media.

The mayor said that fire survivors were 75 families or 321 individuals, including 13 senior citizens, three persons with disability, three pregnant women, one lactating mother, three infants, and 60 school kids.

The estimated cost of the fire damage is P3 million, according to BFP.

Help pouring in
The mayor said she is grateful of the pouring in of help, financial of in kind, from concerned individuals and groups or sectors in the city.

Governor Aris Aumentado wasted no time to personally pay a visit to the fire victims who are now at the evacuation center in said barangay.

“Niduyog mi sa ilang gibati, mao nga muhatag ang Kagamhanang Probinsyal ug Php10,000 sa matag pamilya nga naapektuhan, dugang pa sa gipanghatag na packs pinaagi sa OPSWD. Ato usab hatagan og Php30,000 ang mga namatyan, ug i-distribute ang 200 ka mga boxes of goods gikan sa NGCP,” the governor said.

He said that the provincial government under his watch will provide financial assistance to the tune of P10,000 for every family affected and P30,000 for deaths of the family members.

The governor directed the Office of the Provincial Social Welfare and Development (OPSWD) and the latter distributed 200 boxes of food packs courtesy of the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP).

“Naka provide ta ug modular tents nga katulgan sa mga survivors. Naa pod tay gi distribute nga Disaster Kits nga naay banig, unlan, habol, plato, baso, kutchara, tinidor, hygiene kits, tsinelas ug mga tambal. On-site ga provide ta ug hot-meals ug bottled water. Karon dayon ga profiling na atong CSWD para ma identify tanan victims,” City Mayor said.

(The city government provided the survivors with modular tents, disaster kits, hygiene kits and medicines at the evacuation center not far from the fire scene).

“Dako kaayo nakong pasalamat sa nagkahiusang pwersa sa BFP, PNP, SWAT, Tagbilaran CDRRMO, GSO, CMO, Barangay Poblacion Dos Council, Philippine Coast Guard, Alturas Firetruck, Tarsier 117, Red Cross & Provincial Government of Bohol,” Mayor Yap said.

The Poblacion II barangay council immediately declared a state of calamity in the barangay following the blaze. The declaration would enable the barangay government to use its calamity fund for the fire victims.

Vice-Mayor Atty. Adam Relson Jala, city councilors Gemma Inting, Ondoy Borja and his brother Edi Borja, Baba Yap and their parents joined Mayor Jane Yap during the presscon. (rvo)

By Bohol Island News

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