President Rodrigo Roa Duterte extends his condolences to the families of the victims who have died in the recent fire incident at the New City Commercial Center (NCCC) Mall Davao during his visit at the Southern Philippines Medical Center (SPMC) on December 25, 2017. (Photo by Albert Alcain/Presidential Photo) 


DAVAO CITY -- President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday, December 25, vowed to conduct a thorough investigation into the New City Commercial Center (NCCC) shopping mall fire which killed at least 37 people.

In a private meeting with the families of the victims at Southern Philippines Medical Center (SPMC) here, President Duterte said there will be an inter-agency body to investigate the incident.

“Now, I will assure you that I will call the investigators of NBI (National Bureau of Investigation), police, and Bureau of Fire to take charge of the investigation],” Duterte said in the vernacular, adding that the Scene of the Crime Operatives (SOCO) will also participate in the probe.

This is the second time the President met with the families of workers trapped inside the Davao shopping mall.

Speaking to reporters after the meeting, the President said he will “let the truth come out” and there will be no cover-up in the investigation. He reiterated the government’s commitment to help the bereaved families in recovering the bodies of their loved ones.

He likewise assured them of financial assistance.

“Maybe the compensation and the expenses are answered. Pero ako nag-commit na ako that government is willing to chip in,” Duterte said.

Meanwhile, President Duterte said also during the media interview that he talked to his son, Paolo Duterte, regarding the latter’s decision to resign from post as Vice Mayor of Davao City.

Sabi ko sa kanya, ‘Ikaw. You are in a position to do what is right. Kung ano lang ang tama sa iyo, gawin mo,’” he said. “Sabi ko, ‘Well, let the people decide. But if you think that there is a better way to do it, do what is right,’” he added. (PND)