House starts probe into Resorts World attack

Mara Cepeda
Lawmakers hold a hearing at NAIA-3 Wednesday, June 7, and plan to conduct an ocular inspection at the crime scene from across the street

DEADLY ATTACK. People light candles and offer flowers for the victims of the deadly Resorts World attack, which killed 37 people. Photo by LeAnne Jazul/Rappler

MANILA, Philippines – Two House of Representatives panels will start their investigation into the shooting and arson attack on Resorts World Manila Wednesday morning, June 7.

The committee on public order and safety and the committee on games and amusement will hold the first hearing at 9 am at the Dignitaries Lounge of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 3, across the street from the scene of the crime. 

Parañaque 2nd District Representative Gustavo Tambunting, chairperson of the games and amusement committee, said lawmakers plan to conduct an ocular inspection inside Resorts World. 

“We want to study how to improve the security of casinos, strengthen their security, impose penalty if the security protocol is not followed,” said Tambunting.

The House probe starts 5 days after lone gunman Jessie Carlos fired gunshots and set ablaze gaming tables at the casino floor of the Resorts World Manila.

Carlos was a former tax specialist at the Department of Finance who was heavily in debt due to casino gambling. (READ: Resorts World gunman attended hearing for P6M forfeiture case before attack)

The attack left 37 people dead, including Carlos himself and the wife of Pampanga 3rd District Representative Aurelio Gonzales Jr.  

The House committees have invited top officials concerned in the investigation, including the following:

  • Philippine National Police chief Director General Ronald dela Rosa
  • Interior Department Officer-in-Charge Catalino Cuy
  • National Police Commission vice chairman Rogelio Casurao
  • Bureau of Fire Protection chief Bobby Baruelo
  • Tourism Secretary Wanda Teo
  • Resorts World Manila president Kingson Sian
  • Resorts World Manila chief operating officer Stephen Reilly 

Other police officials and representatives from the Pasay City local government have been invited to the hearing too.

The House panels also invited the owners of the funeral parlors where the victims’ bodies were brought  and “other witnesses” inside Resorts World Manila at the time of the attack.  

Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez, who had tagged the incident as a “lone wolf terrorist attack,” and Majority Leader Rodolfo Fariñas are expected to join the investigation on Wednesday. – Rappler.com

Mara Cepeda

Mara Cepeda specializes in stories about politics and local governance. She covers the Office of the Vice President, the Senate, and the Philippine opposition. She is a 2021 fellow of the Asia Journalism Fellowship and the Reham al-Farra Memorial Journalism Fellowship of the UN. Got tips? Email her at mara.cepeda@rappler.com or tweet @maracepeda.