Capitol, GK inspect ‘burglarized’ storage room

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Thursday, July 31, 2014


A GROUP from the Capitol yesterday inspected a room in the Cebu International Convention Center (CICC) where relief goods were stored following a reported burglary.

Gawad Kalinga (GK) Cebu head Antonio Florendo pointed out to Capitol officials, Provincial Administrator Mark Tolentino, a hole in the ceiling of the storage room.

The room was assigned to hold relief goods that were sent to GK to be distributed to calamity victims. The Capitol also allowed the Department of Social Welfare and Development to use the CICC to store and repack relief goods for typhoon Yolanda survivors.

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Florendo suspected that burglars used the hole in the ceiling to enter the storage room, which mostly contained donated used clothing. He said in an interview that some of the donated clothes were found in the hole.

A closed-circuit television video showed a group of persons carrying boxes and sacks of relief goods on June 18.

The CICC was damaged by the magnitude 7.2 earthquake last Oct. 15. Some parts of its ceiling collapsed.

“If you look at it, it seems there has been a ransacking in our storage facility,” Florendo said.

He said GK is investigating the incident. During their investigation, GK cleared five of its members who were assigned to oversee the relief goods stored at CICC.

He said the remaining relief goods at the CICC storage room arrived last May. He added that GK was unable to immediately distribute these because the group was busy with its rehabilitation and recovery program in northern Cebu, called Bayani Challenge.

Vice Gov. Agnes Magpale said she feels bad about the incident.

“We should not take this lightly just because only used clothes were taken. We apologize to the donors,” she said.

Capitol chief security officer Loy Madrigal said the Special Weapons and Tactics of Mandaue City has been patrolling around the CICC for almost a month. He said the Mandaue City Police Office also helps guard the facility.

He said Capitol civil security unit personnel and members of the demolition team will provide additional security.

Tolentino said the Provincial Government will also give GK more security camera videos to fast-track the group’s investigation.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on August 01, 2014.

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