Concert victims' families to file class suit vs. organizers

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — The families of three of the five victims in the Closeup Forever Summer Concert tragedy announced on Friday that they would file a class suit against the event organizers.

The decision came after the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) met with the families of fatalities Bianca Fontejon, Ariel Leal, and Ken Migawa.

The families agreed to have a common stand: the organizers should pay millions of pesos in damages for criminal negligence.

Bibiane, mother of victim Fontejon, said this would also to prevent the recurrence of the incident.

"Dapat wala nang maulit kasi hindi natin alam kung ilang beses 'to nangyari," Bibiane said.

[Translation: This should not happen again because we don't even know how many times this has happened already.] 

Although organizers claimed they deployed hundreds of bouncers and security guards inside the venue, supported by police outside the concert grounds, the families' lawyers are doubting if the security plan was effective.

One of the families' lawyers, Atty. Ariel Radoval, said organizers should have prioritized the safety of concert-goers.

"Whoever is the sponsor of the event must see to it, must be diligent enough, careful enough to provide all the necessaries sana to prevent these kinds of deaths," Radoval said. 

Complainants urged Closeup to provide all the necessary documents, including contracts and the security plan to determine who should be liable in the security failure.

Also read: The Closeup 'Forever Summer' concert tragedy: What we know so far

The testimonies of witnesses will serve as the basis of the class suit, along with the findings of the NBI that drugs were sold inside the venue.

The victims' families are also calling on all other witnesses to come out and testify to shed light on the incident.

Meanwhile, Closeup Spokesman Ed Sunico said the management was upholding the "legal rights of the parties involved," but insisted stringent security measures and precautions were in place during the concert.

"Safety and security have always been our number one priority, and as such significant precautions were put in place throughout the festival," Sunico said in a statement.

"We will respect the legal rights of the parties involved and will continue to participate actively in any proceedings relating to this issue, including the ongoing investigation."

The company added it was ready to face the cases filed against them.

But, for the victims' families, the fight for justice is far from over.

Bibiane blamed drug peddlers for the victims' fate. The victims' families are also hoping the next Congress would craft more laws pertaining to security measures during concerts and major events in the country.

"Nandun lang din 'yung mga anak namin para mag-enjoy. Kung wala naman sigurong nagdala ng drugs, walang nag-push, walang nagpumilit, hindi siguro mangyayari ito," Bibiane said. 

[Translation: "Our children were just there to enjoy. If no one brought drugs and pressured concert-goers to buy, none of this had to happen."]

Related: Two more Pasay concert victims found positive for illegal drugs

Related: NBI nabs suspect who sold party drugs at Closeup concert