Son of Philippine president steps down as deputy mayor

1 body recovered, 36 feared dead in Philippines mall fire

According to the president's spokesman Harry Roque, Paolo's resignation letter had been received, while Davao's mayor and the president's daughter Sara Duterte said that she didn't know whether the resignation would be accepted.

After weeks of allegations and rebuttals, Paolo announced on Monday: "There are recent unfortunate events in my life that are closely tied to my failed first marriage".

The shopping mall fire compounded the Christmas misery in the south of the mainly Catholic nation, where tens of thousands were displaced by floods and landslides from a storm that also killed 240 others on Friday.

The company said it has arranged for counselling for its employees, and will support funeral arrangements and set up a fund to assist the bereaved.

His sister Sara, who succeeded the president as the mayor of Davao City, disclosed that their father knew beforehand of Paolo's decision to quit.

Fire swept through a shopping mall in the Philippines killing at least 37 people, majority workers at a call center, city government officials said on Sunday.

Firemen concluded that all those trapped in the building are dead, she said, adding, "They assessed that no one would survive in that heat and with that thick, black smoke".

Philippine authorities ordered a criminal investigation Monday as allegations surfaced of locked or non-existent fire exits at the building, which its administrators denied.

"The loss of lives and the resulting damage", he stressed, "underscored the need to determine if someone is at fault and should be held criminally liable". Their findings will enable us to make those responsible fully accountable before our courts via the criminal cases that will be filed.

"We offer our condolences and prayers to the families and loved ones of the victims".

Fire marshal Honeyfritz Alagano said the blaze may have started by a spark on the third floor of the mall, which had a furniture section.

The President condoled with families of the fatalities at the Southern Philippines Medical Center (SPMC) as they waited for the transfer of the cadavers from the mall for processing and identification by personnel of the Scene of the Crime Operatives (SOCO).

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