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MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine National Police (PNP) ordered NC Lanting, the security agency hired to guard the mall complex when it was attacked and torched by an armed man, to stop posting guards in the complex and relieve currently posted personnel “until further notice.”
In an order issued by the PNP’s Supervisory Office for Security and Investigation Agencies (SOSIA), Chief Superintendent Jose Maria Espino pinpointed at least 5 security lapses committed by the agency in an attack that claimed the lives of 37 guests and employees.
Among them, is that NC Lanting “has no security plan to ensure compliance with the prescribed security requirements of the PNP, except its deployment play in the form of the Daily Shifting Detail Order.”
On June 2, a former government tax specialist stormed into the posh Resorts World Manila in Pasay City, brandishing an M4 assault rifle, with 3 liters of gasoline in tow. Jesse Javier Carlos, who was millions of pesos deep in debt due to gambling, did not shoot at anyone during his attack but set gambling tables and slot machines on fire.
The blaze led to the death of 36 who were suffocated by smoke inside the casino area and the restroom on the 2nd floor. Carlos then set a hotel room on fire before shooting himself in the head.
Espino, in the order, said NC Lanting failed to observe the “duty pairing system.” Closed circuit television (CCTV) footage of Carlos’ entry into the mall proper shows him casually walking around a metal detector, prompting the lone lady security guard to chase after him. The security guard, upon seeing his M4 assault weapon, ran away, prompting people nearby to also panic.
“The lady guard posted at the mall entrance and other guards deployed at Resorts World Manila were not trained in mall security that could have, in one way or the other, prevented the worsening of the situation,” read the memo.
The lady guard, the PNP’s SOSIA noted, was wearing a uniform not sanctioned by them. The SOSIA regulates and supervises all security agencies in the country.
Police also found that a member of NC Lanting had lent his firearm to a member of Resorts World Manila’s internal security team when they chased the suspect.
Resorts World Manila hired NC Lanting to man entrances to the main complex and the mall. They employ their own security team to guard the casino, which is inside the mall and adjacent to Maxims Hotel.
The security agency, Resorts World Manila management, and even government forces are being investigated for the June 2 attack.
In a congressional inquiry days after the attack, Resorts World Manila management said that while they had thousands of CCTV cameras in the complex, personnel tasked to man the footage had to be eventually evacuated.
Police also said the dearth of real-time information they were getting slowed down efforts to chase the gunman. – Rappler.com