House starts probe on Resorts World Manila attack | Inquirer News

House starts probe on Resorts World Manila attack

/ 09:21 AM June 07, 2017

Resorts World Manila probe

Resorts World Manila officials, police take their oath at the start of the House probe on the casino attack which left 38 people dead. MARC JAYSON CAYABYAB/

(Updated, 10:11 a.m.) Three committees of the House of Representatives on Wednesday opened their probe on the attack in Resorts World Manila, carried out by a lone gunman which left 38 people dead, mostly from suffocation.

The committees on games and amusement, tourism, and public order and safety held the hearing at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 3, just across the casino.


The hearing was chaired by games and amusements chairperson Parañaque Rep. Gus Tambunting, tourism chairperson Leyte Rep. Lucy Torres Gomez, and public order and safety chairperson Antipolo Rep. Romeo Acop.


Tambunting said the attack dampened the country’s position as an emerging entertainment capital, but brought out the problem of gambling addiction.  The police described the gunman as a gambling addict.

“We won’t be able to achieve this if our investors and Filipino people do not feel safe,” Tambunting said.

“Gambling itself is not wrong. What’s wrong is when a person becomes obsessed to the point of spending what one needs to support one’s family,” he added.

READ: At least 37 dead in Resorts World Manila attack—police | Death toll in Resorts World Manila attack rises to 38 

Acop said the attack cast doubt on the country’s security situation, especially because the attack was carried out in Manila’s posh casino by a lone gunman.

“If a lone gunman, a civilian, can breach the facility of Resorts World and wreak havoc, how much more destruction if it is perpetrated by a well-organized terrorist group in the very heart of Manila?” Acop said.


“They may not have lost their bets, but they lost their lives,” he added of the casualties.

Gomez cited the effect of attack on the country’s tourism, especially on the safety of tourists as well as of the tourist destinations.

“On the part of tourism committee, more and more arising to the surface are issues on tourism resiliency. At the core is tourist security,” Gomez said.

“More than this being a tourism concern… we should always be on our toes safeguarding tourists and Filipinos alike,” she added.

Resorts World Manila President Kingson Sian led the casino officials who took their oaths to testify during the hearing.

Nimfa Lanting, the general manager and owner of Resorts World Manila’s security agency NC Lanting Security Specialist Agency, also attended the hearing.

During the casino attack last Friday midnight, the gunman, later identified as Jessie Javier Carlos, barged in the casino carrying a rifle and fired shots.

READ: Resorts World gunman identified as Jessie Javier Carlos, a Filipino

He went on to torch casino tables and steal P113.1-million worth of casino chips.

READ: Security video shows methodical gunman in Resorts World attack

As security was in hot pursuit, Carlos holed himself up inside a hotel room in Resorts World, and then shot and burned himself to death.

The police has deemed the attack as a robbery instead of a terroristic act even though the Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack.

Carlos, a former tax specialist at the Department of Finance, was dismissed by the Ombudsman for alleged ill-gotten wealth and now faces a forfeiture case before the Manila Regional Trial Court.

READ: DOF: Resorts World gunman dismissed for alleged graft, corruption

The police has described him as a gambling addict who was banned from all casinos and was in deep debt before he carried out the attack.

READ: Deep in debt, Resorts World gunman sold off properties

His parents have apologized to the victims, calling their son a kind man but was addicted to gambling.

READ: Parents of gunman in Resorts World attack ask for forgiveness

The police has decried Resort World’s failure to implement its security plan, adding that there was only one security guard in the entrance for the graveyard shift at the time of the attack. IDL

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READ: PNP finds gross security lapses at Resorts World

TAGS: hearing, House of Representatives, Probe, Resorts World

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