What a relief, say senators after terrorism ruled out in Resorts World incident
Senators were relieved on Sunday that last Friday’s incident at Resorts World Manila was not a terror attack but a case of attempted robbery gone awry following the police identification that the suspect was a former government employee with casino gambling problems.
This as Malacañang – describing the attacker, whom police identified as Jessie Carlos as “an emotionally disturbed individual” – said this latest development should put to rest concerns that the incident was a terror attack.
“So we just like to say that we like to put the worries of the general public to rest…and that was why this announcement was rushed..,” presidential spokesperson Ernie Abella said over government radio on Sunday.
Sen. Panfilo Lacson congratulated the Philippine National Police-National Capital Region Office for identifying Carlos.
“We can now dismiss it as a terror attack,” Lacson tweeted Sunday.
Equally relieved was Sen. Grace Poe who said this should now prompt authorities to establish adequate protocols to ensure the Resorts World incident will never happen again.
While the police did well in its investigation, Senate Majority Leader Vicente Sotto III, meanwhile, said he was disappointed that the police allowed themselves to be interviewed by media without facts on hand.
“They should not give interviews (without facts),” Sotto said in a text message, acknowledging that this had resulted in confusion on what really happened last Friday at the casino-hotel complex.
Sotto also said the incident revealed “terrible security lapses” at the hotel.
“And worse of all, the fire prevention measures of the casino are incapable of passing fire regulations,” Sotto added.
Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III lamented that it took a “tragedy like this to make us realize the folly and unreliability of having very complicated arrangements like the one with the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) and the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA).”
“We should simplify our set ups,” Pimentel said in a statement.
Pimentel was reacting to reports that PEZA and not the BFP was in charge of conducting annual safety inspection at the RWM.
This as Pimentel urged the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp (Pagcor) as well as with casino franchises to make available counseling programs “for casino gambling addicts and those whose lives have been destroyed by casino gambling.”
“Casinos should also be reminded not to take advantage of addicted gamblers or players not having full control of their mental faculties while gambling (like drunk gambling). They should intervene and stop the player from throwing his money away without realizing it,” the Senate President said.
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