BUTUAN CITY, Philippines - Interior and Local Government Secretary Jesse Robredo on Saturday gave Butuan officials 3 days to complete their probe into the department store fire that killed 17 people.
Robredo, who has arrived in Butuan City, also ordered a search for the department store's owner to explain why the building failed to follow fire safety procedures.
"Kung hindi po siya mahahanap, sasampahan siya ng kaso. Mas mahirap ito for him. He should cooperate to get his side," he said.
Robredo assured families of the victims that those liable for the fire will be punished.
Some of the victims' relatives complained that they have yet to receive the financial assistance promised by the department store.
"Puro na lang sila parati pangako, hindi na ako naniniwala," said Elerma Dayuja, a mother of one of the victims.
The lawyer of the store's owner has refused to comment on the issue. - report from Jeff Canoy, ABS-CBN News; ANC