LAWMAKERS on Wednesday questioned top officials of Resorts World Manila for their alleged failure to prevent a lone assailant from firing shots and torching casino tables that led to the fire and caused the death by suffocation of 37 victims.
The joint inquiry of the House committees on public order and safety, games and amusement, and tourism was held at the Dignitaries Lounge of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 3 in Parañaque City, close to the location of Resorts World in where the crime took place.
Members of the panel questioned why security officials of the luxury gaming hotel failed to wound the suspect despite having the capacity to monitor his movement through its sophisticated surveillance system.
According to Philippine National Police records, the suspect later identified as former Department of Finance tax specialist Jessie Javier Carlos entered the casino's premises shortly before midnight of Friday. He burned gaming tables and carpets in different locations, before going inside a hotel room where he killed himself.
His body, along with those of the 37 victims, was recovered between 5:00-6:00 a.m. of the same day.
Lawmakers said the suspect should have been apprehended upon his entry to Resorts World. However, Carlos was able to stay at the hotel until his suicide without getting fatally wounded by any responding teams.
During the interpellation, Majority Leader Rodolfo Fariñas called out Resorts World chief of security and surveillance office Armeen Gomez for his alleged failure to lead his men.
He noted that closed-circuit television (CCTV) clips showed the guards on duty "got scared" and "ran away" from the suspect.
"Ikaw ang highest security official. What's the protocol there?" Fariñas said.
As of press time, the hearing is still ongoing. (SunStar Philippines)