officials fired for hotel fire in 2001
Friday, March 24, 2006
THE Office of the Ombudsman on Thursday ordered the
dismissal of Quezon City Engineer Alfredo Macapugay
and four other officials for the 2001 fire in Manor
Hotel in Quezon City that killed 74 people and injured
about 100 others.
It was the worst hotel fire in the country’s
In a 33-page memorandum approved by Ombudsman Merceditas
Gutierrez, Special Prosecutor Dennis Villa-Ignacio
dismissed the respondents’ motion for reconsideration
and the memorandum approved by then-Ombudsman Simeon
Marcelo on November 26, 2004.
The respondents had questioned the authority of the
Office of the Special Prosecutor to make such recommendations.
But in its ruling the Office of the Special Prosecutor
said it is empowered to “perform such other
duties and functions as the Ombudsman may assign from
time to time.”
Dismissed from the service for “conduct prejudicial
to the best interest of the service” besides
Macapugay were Senior Supt. Manuel Baduria Sr., city
fire marshal; Romualdo Santos Sr., building inspection
officer; Rafael Galvez, chief of the Business Permits
and License Office; and Gerardo Villasenor, electrical
Fire Captain Reynaldo Simpao, chief of the fire prevention
and inspection division, and Rodel Mesa, engineer
3, were suspended for one year without pay for the
Suspended for one month without pay for simple neglect
of duty were Senior Fire Officer 3 Teodoro Gaela,
fireman of the Quezon City Fire Station, and Severino
Mariano, a member of the inspection team.
Romeo Montallana, former acting chief of the electrical
division, was ordered to return all benefits he received
from the government when he retired on June 8, 2002.
The fire swept through the six-story hotel on August
Investigation showed that the hotel had no working
smoke alarms, some of the fire exits were locked or
blocked and there were no emergency lights or sprinkler
Investigators found that the electrical division
of the Quezon City government never inspected the
building’s electrical systems from 1995 to 2000.
Many of the hotel’s guests were attending a
conference organized by an evangelical organization.
The fire was believed to have been started by a short
circuit in a third-floor stockroom.
In 1998, 162 people, mainly teenagers, were killed
in a blaze at the Ozone Disco also in Quezon City.
A fire at the Lung Center, also in 1998, killed 20