MANILA, Philippines – The Resorts World Manila management vowed to provide scholarships until college for the children left behind by the 36 victims killed when a lone gunman attacked the posh hotel and casino.
Resorts World president Kingson Sian made the promise before lawmakers during a joint committee investigation on Wednesday, June 7 held at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 3, just across the street from the hotel-casino. (READ: House to clip Pagcor powers after Resorts World attack)
"We have a process of setting up educational assistance for the children of the deceased all the way to the university," said Resorts World president Kingson Sian.
"After finishing school, the whole group will provide employment," he added.
Last June 2, lone gunman Jessie Carlos fired gunshots and set fire to casino tables at the Resorts World Manila in a botched robbery attempt. His attack caused 36 people to suffocate and die.
Carlos, a former government tax specialist who was deep in debt due to gambling, later set himself on fire inside a hotel room.
During the hearing, Quezon City 2nd District Representative Winston Castelo asked Sian if billionaire Andrew Tan already issued a statement over the incident. Tan is the director of the Travellers International Hotel Group Incorporated, which owns Resorts World Manila.
Sian said Tan already knows about the situation and the directive for Resorts World to give P1 million each to the families of the victims came from Tan himself.
“He knows about the situation. He was the one who asked for the release of P1 million for all victims as well as P500,000 for all injured,” said Sian, adding they already paid the initial P50,000 to the victims’ relatives.
Sian also said Resort World vows to shoulder the victims’ funeral and burial services as well as the medical needs of those injured.
The hotel-casino’s chief operating officer Stephen Reilly already admitted they had “lapses in security,” which allowed Carlos to carry out his attack.
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 email@example.com or tweet @maracepeda.