Sandiganbayan convicts two ex-QC officials over 2001 hotel fire
MANILA, Philippines – The Sandiganbayan sentenced two former Quezon City government officials to 18 to 30 years in jail over a hotel fire that claimed the lives of 74 people in 2001.
The anti-graft court's 7th Division found Alfredo Macapugay, former city engineer, and Romeo Montallana, former acting chief of the city's electrical division, guilty of violating Section 3 of Republic Act No. 3019 or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act after they neglected a report by the city fire marshal on the Quezon City Manor Hotel.
The report stated that the hotel was operating without a business permit and had been recommended for closure in 1999 over violations of the National Fire Code and the National Building Code.
"In spite the Bureau of Fire Protection's recommendation to close it down, the hotel continued to operate and this translates into income pouring into its coffers. It is clear from the records that accused Macapugay and Montallana's improper discharge of their functions caused grave undue injury to the public," the court said.
Aside from the two, Romualdo Santos, Gerardo Villaseñor, and Rodel Mesa of the city's electrical division were also convicted.
Manor Hotel owners, meanwhile, were held liable for neglecting to comply with safety regulations.
William Genato, Rebecca Genato, Marion Fernandez, Dionisio Arengino, and Candelaria Arañador were each sentenced to 6 to 10 years in prison. Antonio Beltran, a co-owner of the hotel, remains at large. – Rappler.com
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