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Lacson to Resorts World probers: Shun speculations

/ 03:21 PM June 02, 2017

Police patrol outside a hotel at the Resorts World Manila complex, early Friday, June 2, 2017, in Manila, Philippines. Gunshots and explosions rang out early Friday at a mall, casino and hotel complex near Manila’s international airport in the Philippine capital. AP

Senator Panfilo “Ping” Lacson on Friday advised Philippine National Police (PNP) investigators to avoid allowing speculation to cloud their probe, raising the possibility that the Resorts World Manila could be an act of terror.

Senate President Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III had a different view and concluded that the incident is criminal in nature and “not related to any invasion rebellion or even terrorism.”

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In a statement, Lacson pointed out, “There are still unknowns that need to be unearthed and clarified.”

The senator and former PNP chief said that it is vital to first establish the identity of the suspect instead of authorities “working based on speculations.”

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Properly identifying the suspect, investigators can then establish leads and get to the real motive in the incident.

“If he (suspect) acted alone, they can simply perform a routine investigation and declare the case closed and correct obvious security lapses. But if the suspect acted with other conspirators, a logical implication of that conspiracy should be a heightened national security concern,” Lacson pointed out.

“Therefore, there is much more work to do since it may indicate a possible terroristic act,” he concluded, referring to the possibility that the suspect did not act alone.

For his part, Pimentel said that by legal definition the incident at Resorts World is not terrorism.

“Although we were alarmed and even terrorized by the Resorts World incident, still, that does not qualify as a terroristic act under our laws,” he explained.

Pimentel did raise questions to the owners of Resorts World and the Philippine Gaming Corporation pertaining to the incident.

“What happened to your security arrangements? One person set your gaming floor on fire and was able to get his hands on gambling chips worth millions? What happened to your sprinkler system? Did it work?” the senate president said, addressing Resorts World.

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He further said, “To Pagcor, do you only concern yourselves with gambling operations of these private casinos and you don’t anymore concern yourselves with security arrangements and physical matters like fire safety of the establishment you allow casinos in?”

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TAGS: Criminal Act, Koko Pimentel, Ping Lacson, Resorts World, Resorts World Manila, Resorts World Manila attack, Terrorism
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