Philippine casino gunman identified, not a terrorist, police say

Frederick Owens
June 5, 2017

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

IS claimed responsibility, with a report on its self-styled Amaq news agency saying its "fighters" carried out the attack.

In security footage released by Resorts World, the suspect was seen arriving at the entertainment complex in a taxi.

Manila police chief Oscar Albayalde said the security footage of the suspect in the attack indicated a clear motive, as the gunman headed straight for a storage room in the back of the casino that contained poker chips.

"They had no idea whatsoever", Albayalde said. He was forced to sell his Ford Ranger pickup truck to help pay for his debts.

At midnight on Friday, a lone gunman barged into the Resorts World casino area and set ablaze gaming tables.

The attack has generated "a thick fog of uncertainty, which will likely have a negative impact on investment confidence and hit the tourism and budding casino sector", said Richard Heydarian, security and political analyst at De La Salle University in Manila.

During the attack, the gunman engaged in a firefight with casino employees, police said.

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The CNN Philippines reported that Carlos, a former employee of the Department of Finance, had gambling debts and money problems, and acted on his own. He was discharged from his post for issues related to his Statement of Assets, Liabilities, and Net Worth (SALN).

Mr. Carlos, the department said, had a total gross income of P2.46 million from 2001-2011.

Police is now writing off the attack as an act of robbery rather than a terror attack.

"The hotel has to explain to us, bakit walang mga exit kaagad (why is there no immediate exit)", he said. "He is already addicted, so you are no longer in your right mind when you are addicted".

Albayalde said the family confirmed the identity of the gunman after they arrived at the police headquarters at Camp Bagong Diwa in Taguig early in the morning and sat down with officials of the police Special Investigation Task Group.

Family members attended the news conference Sunday. Police say a gunman stormed the crowded Manila casino and used gasoline to set gambling tables on fire, creating clouds of smoke that swept through the crowds and killed dozens of people. He made his way to a fifth-floor room, where he shot and kicked the door until it opened, footage showed.

"The incident in the Resorts World Manila is, thus, an isolated case, which does not constitute rebellion or invasion, which are the grounds for the declaration of martial law, as prescribed by the Constitution and which the President is sworn to abide by and protect when he took his oath of office", Abella said.

The man was found dead in a room in a hotel next to the casino.

Other reports by LeisureTravelAid

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