Arson raps filed vs 3 suspects in pension fire

ARSON complaint was filed before the City Prosecutor’s Office in Bacolod City Monday, December 2, against three suspects tagged as responsible for a fire that hit the Java Pension House on Gonzaga-Locsin streets on November 26.

Police Major Jovil Sedel, chief of Police Station 1, said they charged Venancio Valeriano, 27, of Barangay Amayco, Murcia, Rodolfo Inson Jr., 23, of Barangay 40, Bacolod City, who were arrested in a follow-up operation on Friday, November 29, and their companion Christian, who is still at-large, for destructive arson Monday afternoon.

He said arson is non-bailable offense.

Sedel added that Valeriano was formerly charged with illegal gambling, while Inson was charged with theft.

Before the fire incident, the two suspects, along with their companion identified as a certain “Christian,” who is still at-large, were seen stealing a helmet that was placed on a motorcycle parked at the ground floor of the Java Pension House.

Inson earlier told the police that Christian took the helmet and burned the motorcycle. The fire then engulfed the Java Pension House.

He said they fled toward Burgos Street and sold the helmet in the amount of P150. They then returned to the Java Pension House to check the motorcycle, but the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) and police personnel were already in the area.

Inson said it was not their intention to burn the Java Pension Hotel.

On November 26, the fire destroyed the Java Pension House, a former Bascon Hotel, and killed six people.

The fatalities were identified as Christopher Java, 33, the owner of the pension house; his 12-year-old son Christian Miguel; his 73-year-old mother, Magdalena; Ronalyn Dacallo, Miguel’s nanny; the front desk officer Arnold Felomino; and Arnel Bajenting, a resident of Cebu City, who was only identified on November 27.

Sedel said they will wait for the release of the commitment order for the turnover of the suspects to custody of Bureau of Jail Management and Penology. (MAP)


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