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ROBBERY ANGLE EYED

Resorts World Manila incident not a terror act —PNP chief dela Rosa


Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Director General Ronald dela Rosa assured the public that the incident at Resorts World Manila before dawn Friday, which left over 30 people dead, was not a terror attack.

He added that it should not be seen as a reason to expand the martial law declared in Mindanao to Luzon..

“As I have said sa ngayon hindi pa ma-connect na terror attack ito. Iru-rule out natin ‘yan as of now,” Dela Rosa said in a press conference outside the hotel in Pasay City, adding that there is nothing extraordinary in the way the police responded to the incident.

“We don’t call (our move here as) extraordinary but necessary dahil may giyera sa Marawi na pwede silang gumawa ng diversionary moves. Pero ‘yung ngayon, talagang lone wolf lang. Buang buang,” he said.

“So far we have not received specific or credible threat but because nga sa nangyari sa Marawi  we are expecting na gagawa sila ng effort na ma-divert ang attention dito,” he added.

At least 37 people died — mostly from suffocation — while 54 persons were wounded following an attack at the Resorts World Manila on Friday, according to National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) chief Director Oscar Albayalde.

Lone gunman

Dela Rosa maintained that the attack was perpetrated by a lone gunman, saying those who were saying otherwise were just "confused" or may have thought the Special Action Force troops who responded to the area were accomplices.

“Confused lang ‘yung mga tao sa loob dahil nakasunod agad 'yung mga SAF na nakaitim. Tsinek namin pabalik-balik 'yung CCTV. Isa lang talaga siyang pumasok. Confirmed ‘yan ng security ng hotel,” he said.

LOOK: CCTV captures photos of gunman in Resorts World Manila shooting

Robbery angle

Dela Rosa reiterated that there is no indication that the incident was a terror act.

"Walang incident na namaril siya. Pumasok lang siyang armado, pumunta sa storage room ng chips at niransack niya. So there is robbery angle. Wala siyang sinaktan even 'yung lady guard na humabol sa kanya. Nagpaputok siya pero ang binaril niya yung LED monitor at pintuan ng storage room ng chips," he said.

Dela Rosa added that if the gunman was indeed a terrorist, he could have strapped bombs on his body instead of setting himself on fire inside a room.

"Hindi ito act of terror. Kung ISIS siya dapat namaril siya. Kung meron siyang plano na patayin ang sarili niya instead na sunugin ang sarili, nag-strap siya ng bomba sa sarili niya," he said.

On the ISIS claim, Dela Rosa said the terror group "can claim whatever they want, whatever propaganda they want to show to the world but as far as the police is concerned we cannot declare that this is a terror-related incident."

The Agence France-Presse reported that ISIS or the Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the attack.

IS said "lonewolf soldiers" from its group carried out the attack, according to the SITE Intelligence Group that monitors terrorist organizations.

US President Donald Trump on Thursday (US time) expressed sadness and sympathy for victims of what he labeled a "terrorist attack" at Resorts World Manila.

"We're closely monitoring the situation... But it is really very sad as to what is going on throughout the world with terror. Our thoughts and our prayers are with all of those affected," he said.

Injuries

Some 54 people were injured in the incident due to smoke inhalation and broken bones after jumping from the establishment. —KG/KBK, GMA News