Tenant in Serendra unit 501 now 'person of interest'

By Perseus Echeminada, The Philippine Star

Posted at Jun 03 2013 08:28 AM | Updated as of Jun 03 2013 04:29 PM

MANILA, Philippines - The occupant of Two Serendra’s unit 501 who survived the powerful explosion last Friday is now a "person of interest" for police investigators keeping a tight watch on him at the St. Luke’s Medical Center (SLMC) in Global City, Taguig.

“Investigators are getting the profile of Angelito San Juan, including his records from the Bureau of Immigration,” Interior Secretary Mar Roxas said yesterday.

He emphasized that San Juan, whom police want to question on events leading to the incident, is not a suspect for any crime.

“There is no legal move against him. We are just interested in his story,” Roxas said.

He said probers have yet to talk to San Juan who remains in the intensive care unit of the hospital.

Roxas said San Juan suffered third degree burns in various parts of his body.

Initial reports said that the victim was seen leaving his unit when the blast occurred.

San Juan was renting unit 501, owned by George Cayton.

Investigators have found a used fire extinguisher inside the unit.

“It has not been determined if Cayton and San Juan are relatives and what kind of agreement they have,” Roxas said.

The STAR tried to arrange a possible interview with relatives of San Juan but they declined.

A police source, however, said San Juan is based in the US and had no relatives visiting him as of yesterday.

“We cannot get any details on his profile because he is based in the US,” the source said.

BFP to lead probe

With the apparent absence of explosive residue, investigators from the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) are likely to take the lead in the probe on the Two Serendra blast that killed three people and injured at least five others.

A source yesterday said the Philippine National Police (PNP) - Scene of the Crime Operatives (SOCO) was set to turn over to the BFP probers all the pieces of evidence gathered from the explosion site.

“The BFP investigators will analyze the pieces of evidence recovered. But the PNP will still support the investigation,” the source said.

Hours after the explosion, probers who sifted through the debris and analyzed burn patterns from concrete slabs found no positive traces of bomb chemicals.

In a statement issued yesterday, Roxas said probers at Two Serendra have focused their efforts on the “blast site,” which remained sealed two days after the explosion.

Roxas also announced that the Department of Science and Technology has joined the probe to help determine what kind of chemical can propel a concrete slab from the fifth floor of the condo unit to a road several meters away.

“Police and fire authorities have thoroughly sifted through the debris scattered at the street portion and concluded the gathering of forensic evidence there,” Roxas said.

“We are using science and the knowledge of the different government agencies, including the Army’s explosives unit, to find out what happened and take steps to prevent this from happening again,” he added.

Roxas said probers have also started interviewing occupants of the third and fifth floors of Two Serendra. – With Cecille Suerte Felipe