Resorts World gunman a ‘gambling addict, a big cockfight bettor’
BATANGAS CITY — Jessie Javier Carlos, the gunman in the recent attack at the Resorts World Manila, was also a big player in cockfighting in Tanauan City in Batangas province where he used to own a two-hectare farm for breeding his fighting cocks.
“He used to gamble big (amounts) like P100,000 to P500,000,” a city official, who refused to be named, said on Sunday.
“He was very impulsive. Malakas pumusta (A big bettor). He would allow himself to lose P1 million (in cockfighting) in just one night,” said Dodong Ablao, village chairman of Barangay Darasa where Carlos’ farm used to be, adding that he and Carlos had been “friends” for the last five years. Ablao also runs the cockpit in the village.
In November 2016, Carlos sold the farm to another person for P10 million and Carlos received half of the payment only in January.
Ablao said Carlos had debts to pay and the last time they saw each other was when Ablao brokered the sale of the property.
“He also sold away some of the fighting cocks, the others he transferred to another location,” Ablao said.
On Friday, Carlos wielded a rifle as he attacked the casino, setting baccarat tables on fire and stealing P113.1 million worth of casino chips before he burned himself to death. He sustained a gunshot wound
before he committed suicide by burning. Thirty seven people, among them guests and employees, died mostly from suffocation.
It was only on Sunday when police confirmed the identity of the gunman.
The Department of Finance also confirmed Sunday that Carlos was their former employee. But it said Carlos was dismissed from government service in 2012 for failing to disclose all his assets in his SALN or
statement of assets, liabilities, and net worth.
An earlier report said Carlos acquired the Batangas farm in 2010 for P4 million.
“I was shocked (upon learning the casino incident). He was addicted to gambling but was never a violent man,” Ablao said.
Aside from the farm, Carlos also offered his rifle, the same weapon he used in the attack, for P100,000 to Ablao but the village chief refused to buy it, saying he was not into guns. He said he was not sure if Carlos had secured a permit for the rifle.
“Thinking about it today, I feel guilty. If I had bought the gun, he wouldn’t probably have the guts to attack (Resorts World),” Ablao said.
Carlos also asked his help in selling his chainsaw, which Ablao described as heavy-duty and imported.
Asked why Carlos owned a gun, Ablao said Carlos liked firing his gun just to show off to his friends coming to the farm.
“But one time, I told him that if (the city) mayor gets wind of it (the gun firing), I would not be able to answer for him. He stopped (gun firing) since,” Ablao said.
He said Carlos did not have any other addiction aside from gambling.
Ablao said Carlos became addicted to casinos after he lost big in a cockfight.
“He tried the casino and won back a big amount. That’s how it began,” he said.
Even after losing his job at the DoF, Ablao said Carlos kept betting big amounts in the casino or to cockfighting.
“I believe he also brokered in the customs,” he said when asked where Carlos might have obtained his money for gambling.
Ablao said Carlos continued playing even when “heavily indebted” already until he was banned from the Resorts World on April 3.
He, however, did not know exactly the reason for the ban “but that’s probably when he lost it (his senses),” Ablao said. SFM
Subscribe to our daily newsletter
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.