Solons shown footage of misencounter at Resorts World
There was an apparent “misencounter” between the SWAT team and a security personnel of Resorts World Manila at the height of the June 2 attack of a lone gunman at the hotel-casino complex, lawmakers learned Wednesday.
During the resumption of the House inquiry into the casino attack that killed 37 people, Resorts World Manila chief legal officer Georgina Alvarez showed to lawmakers the CCTV footage of two teams firing at each other in the hallway.
The footage showed that Bernard Cajigas, Resorts World security manager who led the special reaction team, shot at the SWAT members after Cajigas did not respond to the call of the police team.
“Some officers were coming from the other way. When they saw each other, they fired at each other… Nagkagulatan po sila, nagkasalubong,” Alvarez said, calling the incident a “misencounter.”
Cajigas was grazed by a bullet in the body before he fell down the stairs as shown in another footage, Alvarez said, adding that Cajigas’ wound was not fatal.
Police inspector Freddie Mercado, who was part of the SWAT team, said they called on Cajigas to respond but he failed to do so.
Cajigas, who then was only wearing slippers and civilian clothes, fired first at the SWAT team, which later retaliated, lawmakers learned from the police.
The SWAT team also did not see the police officers accompanying Cajigas because they were out of sight, the police said.
“Pagdaan namin, nagtotropa kami to make sure hindi magkaroon ng crossfire between the same forces. Pero ang ginawa po niya, sa halip na mag-response, hindi nag-reply sa sinabi namin. So dun nagkaroon ng misencounter,” Mercado said.
Mercado said Cajigas was wounded before running off and apparently falling down the stairs.
“Nagkaputukan and then he ran off. And then after that, sir, hindi nag-appear, tumakbo silang lahat,” Mercado said.
Resorts World Manila chief operating officer Stephen James Reilly said the misencounter added to the confusion during a tense situation at Resorts World Manila, where most of the victims suffocated because they would not come out of their hiding places.
This because the gunman threw a bag of 300 rounds of ammunition at a burning casino table, setting off the bullets and giving the mistaken impression there were more than one gunman.
“It does show a degree of confusion between the groups on the ground communication,” Reilly said./ac
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.