In Catholic tradition, the 40th day after one’s death marks the departure of the dead from earth and the end of grieving for the departed. The dead is believed to be in a better place then.
But as families, friends, and supporters of the 72 victims of the Kentex fire tragedy commemorated the 40th day on June 22 since the tragedy, grieving is not over yet unless justice is served.
A mass was presided by Manila Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo at the San Juan Dela Cruz Church, Valenzuela City, where kin, survivors, labor groups, and supporters of the victims remembered their loved ones.
Bishop Pabillo prayed for empathy for the families and survivors, and justice for the victims.
After the mass, they marched to Kentex factory to demand justice and accountability from factory owner, Beato Ang.
“We want to personally face the owner of the factory (Beato Ang) to voice out our feelings. We are not looking for trouble. We call for speedy case proceedings because we are seeking justice,” said Charlyn Yamido, daughter of 39 year-old fire victim, Violeta Yamido.
(“Gusto po naming makita ‘yung mismong may-ari para mailabas po namin ‘yung saloobin namin sa kanya. Hindi naman po ‘yung naghahanap kami ng gulo. Nananawagan po kami na sana umusad na ‘yung kaso namin, mapadali po ‘yung kaso namin kasi nga po naghahanap po kami ng hustisya.”)
Families and supporters laid roses and lighted candles in front of the factory’s gate. They also taped pictures of victims on the gate. Days before, a mural of labor union leader, Crispin Beltran, and other paintings were also painted by Ugat Lahi artists collective outside the factory to insist for justice.
Survivor Jobert Canillo who worked in Kentex factory for four months, reiterated that “people should be held accountable and jailed” (“Dapat may managot, may makulong.”) for justice to be served.