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Solon who lost wife to Resorts World attack:  Pain inexplicable, a torture

By: - Reporter / @deejayapINQ
/ 06:33 PM June 22, 2017
resorts world

LONG NIGHT Smoke billows from Resorts World Manila as security forces cordon off the besieged hotel-casino complex early on Friday, June 2, 2017. (INQUIRER FILE PHOTO / REM ZAMORA)

MANILA — The congressman who lost his wife to the Resorts World Manila attack broke his silence on Thursday to explain his absence at the just-concluded inquiry into the June 2 tragedy and to express his sorrow over his loss.

“Grief, sadness and anger continue to torment me. The pain of loss is unexplainable. It is a torture every time I remember that tragic night,” said Pampanga Rep. Aurelio Gonzales Jr., reading a prepared statement at a House hearing.

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“Much as I want to participate in the hearings, I have decided, after consulting with my children, to voluntarily inhibit myself from the Committee probes and trust the same to the right people,” he said.

Gonzales’ wife Elizabeth Panlilio Gonzales was one of the 37 who died after inhaling smoke from fires set off by the lone gunman, later identified as Jessie Javier Carlos, who stormed the casino hotel, firing shots and setting gaming tables ablaze before holing up in a room and killing himself.

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The House committees on games and amusements, public order and safety and tourism finished their three-day joint hearing on the Resorts World attack on Wednesday, in which it heard explanations from the casino hotel executives, police and fire authorities about the incident.

Gonzales expressed his thanks to President Duterte, his colleagues, and local officials of Pampanga “for mourning with me at this very difficult time of my life.”

“I am also extending my heartfelt condolence and sympathy to the families who have lost their loved ones during the tragedy. I continue to pray for the full recovery of those who were injured and for the
healing of us bereaved family,” he said.

“It is for this reason that I am one with you all in wanting these hearings to be fruitful so that this kind of incident will no longer be repeated,” Gonzales said.

Speaking at a hearing on the back-to-back glitches suffered by clients  of Bank of the Philippine Islands and Banco de Oro, the Pampanga lawmaker also sought an explanation for why there were unexplained
withdrawals on his wife’s ATM account three days after she died.

He said his wife’s Rizal Commercial Banking Corp. account reflected three withdrawals between 6:15 and 6:16 p.m. of June 5.

The first two withdrawals were for P10,000 each, while the last was for P500, totaling P20,500 (not P25,000 as mistakenly reported by Surigao del Sur Rep. Johnny Pimentel, who first raised the mysterious transactions on Wednesday).

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Pimentel also earlier said the body of Gonzales’ wife was missing a Rolex watch and her ATM and credit cards when her family came to get her.  SFM

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TAGS: Amok, Arson, ATM withdrawals, attempted robbery, Aurelio Gonzales Jr., casino, casino hotels, congressional hearing, congressmen, Crime, death, Elizabeth Panlilio Gonzales, Fire, fire safety, gambling, grief, House committee on games and amusement, House of Representatives, Jessie Carlos, Jessie Javier Carlos, law enforcement, lawmakers, Legislators, lone gunman, Rampage, remembrance, Resorts World Manila, Resorts World Manila attack, Resorts World Manila casualties, Resorts World Manila fire, Rizal Commercial Banking Corp., robbery, robbing the dead, Safety, Security
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