Press Release
February 1, 2015

Pimentel asks police to focus on arson angle of Hall of Justice blaze;
wants modern facility in Cagayan de Oro city

Senator Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel III called on the police to leave no stone unturned to identify, arrest and prosecute the parties responsible for the fire that gutted the Hall of Justice in Cagayan de Oro City last Friday.

"Aside from the fact that the Hall was built with the money of the people, it was a temple dedicated to the administration of justice in the city," said Pimentel, who is also a native of Cagayan de Oro city.

Pimentel said initial police report indicated that certain parties to cases pending in one of the courts holding sessions in the Hall of Justice had been allegedly tagged as suspects.

"That angle should be looked into by investigators," he said.

A court employee and a security guard were killed in the five-hour blaze that razed the two-storey Hall of Justice building, housing 28 courts. They were identified as Jeffrey Uban and Benjamin Buna.

Pimentel asked investigators to give priority to the arson angle, saying they owe it to the people of Cagayan de Oro city and the country in general to determine the parties behind the blaze that burned several important court documents and evidences.

"Otherwise, it would wind up as an additional statistic in the lengthening list of unsolved crimes in the country," he said.

Pimentel also called on the national government to immediately rent a new building as temporary court offices and trial venues, and set aside funds for the construction of a modern Hall of Justice.

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