MANILA — Vice President Jejomar Binay asked the Public Attorney’s Office (PAO) on Tuesday to extend legal help to the families of the eight women workers who were killed in a fire that razed a warehouse in Pasay City last Friday.
Binay said he met the families of the fire victims during the wake at the Veronica Funeral Homes in Pasay. He also said the families told him that the victims were kept in a locked room and that this was the main reason why they were not able to escape from the fire.
“Ito ay isa sa mga bagay na idinulog ko sa Public Attorney’s Office (PAO), sa grupo ni Atty. Acosta, na sana mag-extend naman sila ng legal assistance sa pamilya,” Binay said in a statement.
In a letter, Binay urged Atty. Persida Rueda-Acosta of PAO to look closely into the case. He said that he is certain that the victims did not receive proper wages as mandated by law and that the victims were not enrolled as members of the Social Security System (SSS).
He stressed that he was told that the victims were hired as domestics but made to work as employees in the business establishment of their employer.
“Ito ang pagkakasabi sa akin ‘nung pamilya, ‘yung mga namatay nagtatrabaho sa pagawaan ng cellphone. Empleyado ‘yun. Hindi naman ‘yun domestic,” Binay said.
Binay also urged the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) to intensify their efforts in checking up on employers and employees.