CCTV footage of the Manila casino shooting

Philippine police: Casino attacker was gambling addict, not terrorist

Manila: Philippine police on Sunday identified the gunman behind an attack on a casino that killed 36 people as a heavily indebted local man addicted to gambling, ruling out any involvement by militants.

A suspected gunman is seen in the Resorts World Manila entertainment complex in Pasay city, metro Manila, Philippines in a picture taken from close circuit television (CCTV) handed out by Philippine National Police and released on June 2, 2017.

Police identified the late attacker as a 43-year-old Filipino catholic and father of three, Jessie Javier Carlos, on Sunday. Reports say Carlos was sacked from his Department of Financing job in 2014 "for grave misconduct and neglect of duty" because he failed to disclosed multiple items, including a house, vehicle, and other business interests.

Carlos, who was sacked from job at the Finance Ministry for not disclosing required financial information, owed more than $80,000 and was forced to sell his vehicle, Albayalde said.

Carlos owed some 4 million pesos or ($81,000, 71,000 euros) in gambling debts, according to the police chief.

Thirty-seven (37) people died due to suffocation in the gaming area of the Resorts World Manila on Friday midnight while 54 others sustained injuries after the attacker carrying a "baby armalite" stormed the establishment and set ablaze gaming tables and carpets before committing suicide. He later doused his bed with gasoline and shot himself to death in the hotel room he retreated.

Recently, he was banned from entering all casinos at the request of his wife, Southern Police District Chief Tomas Apolinario Jr. said.


"This is not an act of terrorism but this incident is confined to the act of one man alone as we have always said", Albayalde told a press conference with the man's wife and parents.

Even US President Donald J. Trump had described the incident in Manila as a "terrorist" attack, adding that Washington is "closely monitoring the situation".

Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) claimed responsibility for the attack at Resorts World Manila but this has been debunked by investigators and by the man's own family members. He forced his way into Room 510, where minutes later, police and hotel security found him inside the room, underneath covers he had set on fire, with the tip of his M4 rifle pointed towards his mouth.

Carlos, said to have incurred huge debts amounting to over P4 million due to casino gambling, torched gaming tables and fired several shots in Resorts World Manila before setting himself on fire inside a room of an adjoining hotel.

"I think this already dispels all the notions, all the speculations of terrorism", Mr. Albayalde said.

Ms Carlos said: "My son was just a victim.he fell victim to the casinos". "This seems to point to possible neglect of duty and they should not be allowed to conduct operations", he said. "The work of the ISIS is more cruel and brutal".

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