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Duterte orders suspension of Chuzon Supermarket operations

PAMPANGA. President Rodrigo Duterte presides over a situation briefing at the Provincial Capitol in San Fernando City, Pampanga on April 23, 2019. (Screenshot from Presidential Communication's video)

PAMPANGA - President Rodrigo Duterte ordered Tuesday, April 23, the issuance of a cease and desist order against the supermarket whose four-story branch in Porac, Pampanga collapsed, killing at least five people.

The cease and desist order should also cover other branches of Chuzon in the towns of Apalit, Santo Tomas and Guagua.



"Well in all probability, the one who constructs the supermarket here could also be the one who constructed the others. I'd like to presume that," the President said during a situation briefing at the Pampanga Provincial Hall with local officials and other Cabinet secretaries on the magnitude 6.1 earthquake that shook Central Luzon and Metro Manila.

"So it would be good at this time to just give them the advice to stop, [issue] cease and desist [order] in doing business until such time that the clearance [is] given by government," he added.

Pampanga is among the provinces in Luzon that were affected by the powerful quake.

Several roads and other infrastructure facilities in Pampanga were severely damaged, prompting Duterte to conduct a visit to quake-hit areas in the province, including the Chuzon Supermarket in Porac town, which collapsed, killing and trapping dozens of individuals.

Duterte's order came after Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año recommended during the situation briefing the issuance of a memorandum directing the suspension of the grocery chain's business permits.

Earlier Tuesday, Public Works Secretary Mark Villar sought the inspection of the structural integrity of all branches of Chuzon grocery stores.

Duterte said it was "appalling" that the supermarket branch in Porac collapsed, considering that the building was just "newly built."

"There will be a lot of questions there because one it is a newly-built, [built for only four year[s]. The fact that the extensive damage was appalling that there was a collapse," he said.

"City engineer or whoever is competent [should] review the planning and inquire into what kind of material whether they were made or applied in right sizes or was there any shortcomings," Duterte added. (SunStar Philippines)


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