Owner of collapsed Pampanga supermarket surrenders

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Porac, Pampanga (CNN Philippines, April 23) — The owner of a supermarket chain whose store collapsed voluntarily surrendered to the police's investigative unit, Philippine National Police Chief Police General Oscar Albayalde said on Tuesday.

The Chuzon Supermarket branch in Porac town collapsed, killing five individuals and trapping dozens.

Interior Secretary Eduardo Año also said he recommended the suspension of the grocery chain's business permits in the wake of the 6.1 magnitude earthquake that jolted Pampanga province on Monday.

Porac Mayor Carling dela Cruz told reporters the municipal engineer who approved the supermarket building permit has retired, but insists Chuzon Supermarket has met all requirements under the National Building Code. The building was constructed in 2014.

Authorities are, however, verifying if the four-storey building had permits only for the construction of two storeys.

Meanwhile, the Pampanga legislative board has also ordered the temporary closure of the three branches of Chuzon Supermarket in the towns of Apalit, Santo Tomas, and Guagua. Vice Governor Dennis Pineda said the closure will give way to the inspection of their structural integrity.

Public Works Secretary Mark Villar said he will order an infrastructure inspection of all branches of Chuzon grocery stores.

The Porac mayor said five were found dead in the rubble of the Porac branch, while nine people have been rescued. He said the branch has 90 workers, but they cannot all be accounted for as of posting.

Pampanga Governor Lilia Pineda said that at least 11 were killed in the province after the quake struck Castillejos, Zambales on Monday afternoon. A state of calamity has been declared in the province.

The quake also damaged several structures in the province, including the boundary arch separating Bataan and Pampanga, St. Augustine Parish Church in Lubao, and Santa Catalina de Alexandria church in Porac.

Villar said the Consuelo bridge in Floridablanca town remains impassable, while light vehicles are only allowed in three other bridges. He said Mega Dike in Porac and Sasmuan-Lubac Road, both national roads, were damaged.

CNN Philippines correspondent Carolyn Bonquin and stringer Justine Dizon contributed to this report.