37 people perished in the NCCC Mall Davao fire

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DAVAO CITY, Philippines — Families of the 37 missing persons in the NCCC Mall fire broke to tears at 3:20 this morning, when President Rodrigo Duterte told them that the ground commander of the Bureau of Fire briefed  him that  “Chances of survival was zero.”

Duterte cried as he comforted the families after he broke the sad news.

After the briefing Catholic Bishop Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) President and Davao Archbishop Romulo Valles the President Duterte “The chances of survival was zero.”

President Rodrigo Duterte cried after he broke off the news that as per briefing by the the bureau of fire ground commander “Chances of survival was zero”. Photo credit.- Rhoda hernandez/PTV Mindanao

The list of the missing persons as posted on the facebook page of Vice Mayor Paolo Duterte:

1. Jessica Solis
2. Gantioco Celestial Jr
3. Ian Kiem Adlawan
4. Regine Generales
5. Christen Joy Garzon
6. Apple Jane Celades
7. Iana Apalacio
8. Jonas Basalan
9. Jim Benedict Quimsing
10. Kurtchin Angela Bangoy
11. Mary Joy Daluro
12. Randy Balcao
13. Rosyl Montanez
14. Missy Rose Artiaga
15. Analiza Penarejo
16. Christine Joy Ferraren
17. Ivan Roble
18. Christine Alviola
19. Alexandra Moreno Castillo
20. Hongijangjian- family not interviewed
21. Desiree Gayle Zacarias
22. Jesseca Samontina
23. Mary Louielyn Bongcayao
24. Nancy Loyd Abad
25. Jeffrey Sismar
26. Johani Matundo
27. Joyne Pabelonia
28. Elyn Joy Yorsua
29. Shiela Mae Bacaling
30. Mark Entera – family not interviewed
31. Charlyn Liwaya
32. Mikko Demafeliz
33. Roderick Antipuesto
34. Rhenzi Nova Muyco
35. Roderick Constantinopla
36. Venus Joy Kimpo
37. Janine Joy Obo

Senior Inspector Ma. Teresita Gaspan, the spokesperson of Davao City Police Office said the fire started at the third floor particularly at the furniture section going to the fourth floor going
to the SSC call center office.”

Vice Mayor Paolo Duterte posted.

Firefighters and personnel from the 911 Emergency Service are still conducting search and rescue operations inside the mall in the  the hope of rescuing the  trapped employees mostly working as call center agents of SSI.

The SSI, is a BPO company which hold office at the third floor of the mall.

As of 10pm last night Catholic Bishop Conference of the Philippines President and Davao City Archbishop Romulo Valles and several priests and nuns were present to offer prayers for the trapped employees.

The management of the mall in a statement said “It is unfortunate that we confirm that there was a fire at the 3rd floor of NCCC Mall Department Store. The BFP has the situation under
control and we are still verifying the extent of the incident. We are currently coordinating with the authorities. However, there are no reported casualties.”

Valles said the firefighters said heavy fumes and extreme heat may have caused the tragic death.

CBCP President and Davao Archbishop Romulo Valles said President Rodrigo Duterte told the families that the ground commander said “Chances of survival was zero”. Kiwi Bulaclac/Presidential Photo

Valles told reporters “Matud sa ground  commander, lisod mag laum nga naay maka-survive, pidago gyud, zero chance pero ingon siya di natu matagna, pero matud pa sa assessment sa taga fire lisod gyud ang kahimtang pero padayon kita nga mag hope, matud pa ni Presidente.”

(According to the ground commander, it is impossible that someone survives, it is very nil, zero chance but who knows? but based on the assessment of the fire official-the situation is  very difficult but we still hope, the President said).

“We are helpless but there is God” Valles told reporters “The incident is very  painful,  It is hard to think it happened.” He said in vernacular.

Valles asked the people of Davao to continue Praying until the authorities officially declare what transpired and how it happened.

But the incident showed one thing, according to Valles “It showed how the Davao people helped each other during disaster.”

“Continue to show the good example to compassion and love as Davao people,” he added.

What happened?

Families and friends of the missing persons in interview with reporters were asking why the sprinkler system  did not work? why the security guard failed to informed the employees of the impending tragedy?

Some survivors narrated many of their office mates went back to get some belongings but failed to get out.

Photo from SAP Christopher Lawrence Go

Fire officials believe most of the victims were trapped inside the comfort room at the third floor.

The owner of the mall was on the verge of preparing for a major renovation next year.

On November 2, 2017, Sharlene Faye Lim, LTS Malls Inc. president, announced that they are set to renovate the NCCC Mall of Davao next year saying “This is going to be a big project as there
will be a total renovation and expansion.”

At about 4:00 in the morning today, the Duterte bus carried the families of the “Missing” persons to the hospital to help in identifying the victims.

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte speaks with his daughter Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio as they checked the situation on the fire that hit the NCCC Mall of Davao in Davao City where a fire was still raging as of yesterday evening, December 23, 2017. Joey Dalumpines/Presidential Photo

Duterte promised to help the families.

Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte who visited the families yesterday said the city government will be there for them.-Editha Z. Caduaya/Newsline.ph 

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