President Duterte broke down in tears as he visited families of the 37 victims of the Davao City mall fire.
The president made the visit late yesterday evening (Saturday, December 23) at the New City Commercial Center Mall.
Senior Inspector Maria Teresita Gaspan, of Davao City Police Office, said the fire started at about 9.30am yesterday and continued until this morning.
Pictures released by the Malacañang show the president weeping upon hearing the news that those who were trapped inside the building had zero chance of survival.
The president then broke the unhappy news to the families of the victims.
He was accompanied by his special assistant Christopher “Bong” Go and his children — Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte, and Vice Mayor Paolo Duterte.
The president also talked to Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines President Romulo Valles and Monsignor Paul Cuison, who are offering spiritual support to the families.
Vice Mayor Duterte posted on his Facebook Page the names of the victims:
• Jessica Solis
• Gantioco Celestial Jr
• Ian Kiem Adlawan
• Regine Generales
• Christen Joy Garzon
• Apple Jane Celades
• Iana Apalacio
• Jonas Basalan
• Jim Benedict Quimsing
• Kurtchin Angela Bangoy
• Mary Joy Daluro
• Randy Balcao
• Rosyl Montanez
• Missy Rose Artiaga
• Analiza Penarejo
• Christine Joy Ferraren
• Ivan Roble
• Christine Alviola
• Alexandra Moreno Castillo
• Desiree Gayle Zacarias
• Jesseca Samontina
• Mary Louielyn Bongcayao
• Nancy Loyd Abad
• Jeffrey Sismar
• Johani Matundo
• Joyne Pabelonia
• Elyn Joy Yorsua
• Shiela Mae Bacaling
• Mark Entera – family not interviewed
• Charlyn Liwaya
• Mikko Demafeliz
• Roderick Antipuesto
• Rhenzi Nova Muyco
• Roderick Constantinopla
• Venus Joy Kimpo
• Janine Joy Obo
In a statement, the Malacañang today expressed heartfelt sympathy to all those affected by the Davao City mall fire.
“Our thoughts and prayers to the families and friends of the 37 missing persons of the New City Commercial Center fire in Davao City yesterday,” presidential spokesman Harry Roque said in a statement.
He added that the government would extend assistance to the families and relatives of the victims.
“The president went unannounced last night to the mall and assured the relatives of the victims that the government would extend help,” he said.
The Bureau of Fire Protection is now working to determine the cause of the fire.
The tragedy unfolded as the city was already battling widespread flooding caused by storm Vinta.
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