DENR looking into arson angle in Binondo fire
MANILA, Philippines – Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Secretary Roy Cimatu ordered an investigation amid reports that the fire that burned down the Land Management Bureau (LMB) building in Binondo, Manila, last Monday, was intentional.
“While we hope that this is not the case, arson is a serious crime and the LMB fire significantly impacts Filipinos who place premium value on land,” Cimatu said on Wednesday, May 30.
The LMB is the agency responsible for surveying and managing alienable and disposable lands. It is also the agency responsible for classifying the types of land, and identifies which areas should be protected and which can be developed.
The DENR reported that important documents and some P100 million worth of equipment had been reduced to ashes.
The National Bureau of Investigation and the Manila Fire District are still investigating the cause of the fire, which started at the upper floors of the LMB.
Chief Senior Inspector Reden Alumno, arson chief of the Bureau of Fire Protection Manila, previously stated that the timing of the fire invited suspicions of arson.
The LMB has set up a temporary help desk at the DENR main office in Quezon City to address land-related queries and concerns by the public.
The LMB is also eyeing to relocate its other offices to the DENR. – Rappler.com