Occupant of Serendra unit dies

By Dharel Placido, ABS-CBNnews.com

Posted at 07/04/2013 7:37 AM | Updated as of 07/04/2013 8:04 AM

MANILA (UPDATE) – The occupant of the Serendra Two condominium unit 501-B which was hit by an explosion last May 31 has died, the lawyer of the family which owns the unit said Thursday.

Atty. Raymond Fortun, lawyer of unit owner Marianne Cayton-Castillo, said Angelito San Juan died at 12:20 a.m. today at the age of 63.

“Siya po ay namatay at 12:20 this morning. Wala pa pong official statement from the doctors, kukunin ko pa lang po yan this morning pero pwede ko pong ma-surmise from the past several days that it is maybe due to multiple organ failure po,” Fortun told ABS-CBN’s Umagang Kay Ganda.

“Nasunog po yung 75% ng kanyang katawan pero po yung lamang loob niya, hindi po matingnan nung mga doktor
dahil napakamaselan po nung kanyang mga injuries. So for the past several weeks ay talagang ang ginawa na lang ng mga doktor ay talagang just to stabilize him enough para magkaroon po nung mga operation para matingnan talaga yung kanyang loob pero hindi po nangyari yun.,” he added.

Fortun said San Juan underwent various procedures such as daily blood transfusion and dialysis just to put
him in stable condition. San Juan’s breathing was also aided by a machine and his heart rate was inconsistent.

“I would think probably because of advancing age, 63 na ang tao, and probably dahil napakalubha ng injuries na dinanas, hindi na talaga nakayanan ng katawan niya,” he said.

San Juan was brought to the intensive care unit (ICU) of St. Luke’s Medical Center in Taguig after the blast.

Manila visit

San Juan is a US green card holder with no criminal record. He arrived in Manila on the day of the explosion, which also happened to be his birthday, to attend a wedding.

San Juan asked Cayton-Castillo, through Herminia Ochoa, that he be allowed to use the condominium unit during his 9-day stay in the country.

Ochoa is a friend of San Juan and the aunt of Cayton-Castillo, who is now based in the US. She is the designated caretaker of the unit.

San Juan was earlier tagged by the government as a “person of interest.” This tag was removed after investigations concluded that the tenants and owners of the condominium unit “acted normal” prior to the explosion.

Government investigators had concluded that a gas leak caused the explosion, which claimed three other
lives. However, investigation is still ongoing to determine how the explosion exactly occurred.

Family in US

Fortun said only San Juan’s sibling is currently in Manila. San Juan’s wife and two children are in California.

Fortun said the priority of the family at this point is to bring the remains of San Juan back to the US.
He said Serendra developer Ayala Land Inc. should attend to the needs of the family.

“I am hopeful na lalapit ng kusa ang Ayala para tugunan ang concerns ng pamilya. Ayaw kong isipin na kailangan pa silang puntahan o kailangan pang pumunta sa demandahan,” he said.

“I would like to think that Ayala has a social and corporate conscience to know how to respond to a situation like this,” he added, noting that Ayala shouldered the hospital expenses of San Juan.

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