Published: Wed, June 14, 2017
World | By Paul Elliott

Video from Manila resort attack shows gunman setting fire to casino

Video from Manila resort attack shows gunman setting fire to casino

The lone gunman was identified as Jessie Carlos, 42 years old, said National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) Director Oscar Albayalde in a press conference at the Remington Hotel - part of the Resorts World complex - on Sunday.

Albayalde says the man's family said he was US$80,000 in debt "due to being hooked in casino gambling".

Mr Albayalde said Carlos, aged 43, had three children and had been banned from all casinos in April by the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation following a request from his family because of his gambling addiction.

The man was found dead in a room in a hotel next to the casino. "There are questions about the sprinkler system in the room; how come the carpets were flammable; and really, what took the so long to attend to the victims, a lot of them being hotel guests?"

Those concerns escalated when militants flying black IS flags rampaged through the Philippines' main Islamic city in the south almost two weeks ago, triggering clashes that are still continuing and have left roughly 200 people dead.

At least 37 patrons and employees died, mostly due to smoke inhalation while they tried to hide on the second floor of the casino, Albayalde said.

'FORGIVENESS' In the same press conference yesterday, a tearful Teodora Carlos, mother of the gunman, asked for forgiveness.

According to security footage viewed by police, the gunman entered via the parking lot.

More than 12,000 people were at the complex during the attack, according to Resorts World.

"That is not the work of the ISIS", Duterte, referring to the group by an acronym, said before visiting a wake for victims of Friday's attack by a gunman at Resorts World Manila.

There's been concern that the militants might attack elsewhere to divert the focus of thousands of troops trying to quell the siege in Marawi.

His identity remains unknown however as police were unable to lift fingerprints, but Albayalde said investigators would examine DNA evidence.

Video footage shown to reporters Saturday bolstered the government's case that this was a botched robbery by a lone attacker with no political motives. The shooting was initially assumed by some to be a terrorist attack, but it turns out the suspect was a Philippines Department of Financing employee who had a gambling problem at the casino. He also had a property worth 1 million pesos and a van. He was addicted to gambling, and so he was no longer in his right mind.

The Metropolitan Police head of counter-terrorism, Mark Rowley, said police believe all three attackers were killed, but investigations are underway to ensure there are no more. He made his remarks Saturday in the southern Philippines. The fighting has placed much of the country on edge and raised fears that the IS was gaining a foothold.

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