In light of the apparent information blackout concerning the fire that devoured the House Technology Industries main building (HTI) inside the Cavite Export Processing Zone, various labor institutions and people’s organization initiated a National Fact Finding Mission to probe the extent of casualties, the circumstances of the incident and possible labor standards violations that resulted in one of the worst workplace tragedies in history.
The initial findings of the Quick Response Team on February 2 and the NFFM conducted on February 4 and 5, indicate the following:
… At 10:59p.m. on February 1, Governor Boying Remulla via PTV 4 said that 300 people were in the building when the fire broke out, that 40 were brought to the hospital so far, and “May mga naipit pa sa loob.” (PTV 4 on Twitter)
Close to midnight on February 1, Jonvic Remulla would post on his Facebook page: “We are all one tonight in prayer for those who perished and are yet to be accounted for in the HTI fire.” (11:53p.m.)
Around 2a.m. of February 2, I had noticed a change in the conversation about the HTI fire on Facebook comment threads. The conversations were being shifted from talking about workers trapped and survivor testimonials, to insisting that no one had died. Read more…
karereport ni raya capulong sa dzmm teleradyo: sa wakas, naapula na ang sunog. walang casualty, sabi daw ni governor remulla. (maybe he/she meant “fatality”? maybe i misheard?) at tila naniwala naman sina karen davila at vic lima.
IMPIYERNO SA ENGKLABO
by Darius Galang
Kuwento ng ilang saksi sa sunog sa pabrika ng HTI sa Cavite Economic Zone sa Rosario, Cavite
… Tumangging magpakilala sa publiko, pero mga manggagawang nakalabas o nakaalis na nang sumiklab ang sunog ang nakapanayam ng Pinoy Weekly. “Tiyak na hindi makakaligtas ‘yung nasa second at third floor,” saad ng isang nakapanayam.
Masaklap pa, karamihan sa nasa research and development na nasa ikatlong palapag ay kababaihan. Ang ibang nakaligtas, tumalon. Bali sa binti ang mga pinsala. Ang iba, gumapang papalabas. Sabi pa ng isang nagbahagi, traumatic ang gumapang, dahil patay na daw ang ilang nagapangan niya…
One of the questions that dominated the discourse pre-Typhoon Lawin was: what the heck is government doing?
The truth was, we weren’t hearing much about what was being done, who was doing what, and whether government was prepared at all. It didn’t help that too many members of the President’s Cabinet –including the heads of communications – were with him in China, and so there was absolutely no sense at all that there was anyone in control of delivering information about the typhoon, one that was said to be akin to Typhoon Yolanda of 2013.
Here’s the thing: when you come from an Aquino government that had three communications offices, having no functioning communications office for President Duterte is nothing but a liability. For the public and the government itself.