BFP probes looting in Star City blaze
Emmanuel Tupas (The Philippine Star) - October 10, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) yesterday ordered an investigation on the alleged looting at the Manila Broadcasting Co. following a fire that hit the adjacent Star City amusement park.

BFP chief Director Leonard Banago also directed the probe to determine if any of their firefighters took part in the alleged looting.

MBC vice president Deo Macalma said he lost some of his valuables, which were placed in the drawers in his office. Another employee  lost P60,000 cash that was supposed to be used to buy equipment.

Macalma said it is unlikely that any of their employees and security guards stole the items, stressing that only the firefighters were inside the complex during the fire.

Banago said he told Macalma to file a complaint before the Pasay City police to ensure impartiality.

The BFP chief pointed out that firefighters could no longer determine if there were other outsiders as they were busy putting out the blaze.

“The police officers were there to secure the area,” he said.

The BFP national headquarters took over the investigation of the incident, in compliance with a directive of Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año to ensure a thorough probe, after city fire marshal Superintendent Paul Pili said the pieces of evidence found at the amusement park such as gasoline indicate arson.

Banago admonished Pili for the statement in the early stages of the probe, noting that determining the cause of a fire in a large complex needs thorough examination.

According to Banago, Pili told him that he was only misquoted by journalists who interviewed him at the site.

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