Serendra unit ‘not cleared for leasing’

Natashya Gutierrez

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Serendra management allowed Angelito San Juan to stay in Unit 501B even if it was yet to be cleared for leasing, after renovations to the apartment

POWERFUL EXPLOSION. Police confirm an explosion at Serendra, a posh enclave in Taguig at around 8pm on Friday, May 31. Photo by Robin Leonard

MANILA, Philippines – The Two Serendra unit that exploded on Friday, May 31, which killed 3 and injured 5 was still pending final inspection after renovations had been done to the apartment.

Unit 501B, the site of a deadly blast in the posh enclave in Taguig City, had undergone renovations between April-May. It had yet to be cleared by Serendra management.

“It was still in the process of being cleared of final inspection before it can be rented to a lessee,” Raymond Fortun, the counsel of unit owner George Cayton, told Rappler over the phone.

While it was not yet approved for leasing however, Cayton’s family, upon approval of management, lent the apartment for 9 days to a good friend, Angelito San Juan, who was in Manila for a wedding. Both Cayton and San Juan are based in the United States.

Serendra approved the request of Cayton to let San Juan stay in the apartment from May 31-June 8.

“Marianne Cayton (daughter of George) had to secure a permit from security management to allow San Juan to enter the premises. Serendra approved it upon the request of the property owner who said, ‘This is a friend,’ and filed a written request,” he said.

Fortun said Marianne is expected to arrive on Friday, June 7, to cooperate with the probe and provide documents on the renovations done in the unit, as well as previous maintenance issues the family complained about.

Probers said they are continuing the investigation, but have yet to name the cause of the blast. Interior Secretary Mar Roxas told media on Sunday, June 2, the likelihood the explosion was due to a bomb is getting slimmer, as neither bomb-sniffing dogs nor investigators found traces of bomb chemicals or fumes.

The investigation has turned to engineering issues in the building as a possible cause. Gas has been cut off from all Two Serendra buildings as the investigation continues. –

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Natashya Gutierrez

Natashya is President of Rappler. Among the pioneers of Rappler, she is an award-winning multimedia journalist and was also former editor-in-chief of Vice News Asia-Pacific. Gutierrez was named one of the World Economic Forum’s Young Global Leaders for 2023.