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Resorts World attacker identified; hooked on casino gambling

The Philippine National Police on Sunday revealed the identity of the man involved in the deadly attack at the Resorts World Manila in Pasay City.

In a press conference, National Capital Region Police Office chief Director Oscar Albayalde identified the Resorts World attacker as Jessie Carlos, 43, a Filipino and resident of Sta. Cruz, Manila.

Albayalde said Carlos was identified by his former wife, Jen, children and other members of his family, who approached the police around 5:30 a.m.

He said Carlos was an employee of the Department of Finance (DOF) stationed at the One Stop Shop Tax Credit and Duty Drawback Center and was dismissed because of an issue on his Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth (SALN).

Based on records from the DOF, Carlos was a tax specialist dismissed by the Office of the Ombudsman on April 2014 for grave misconduct and gross neglect of duty for not declaring properties and a business interest in his 2007 and 2010 SALNs.

In its ruling, the Ombudsman noted that Carlos had a total income of P2.4 million from 2001 to 2011 but was found to have purchased "in cold cash" two farm lots in Batangas for P4 million.

Albayalde said that Carlos was hooked on casino gambling and "heavily indebted."

Albayalde said the attacker had a bank account with an outstanding debt of P4 million and "several other non bank related debts."

High roller

The police official added that Carlos' addiction to gambling was the same reason he became estranged from his wife.

He said the attacker was considered a high roller in casinos with a usual minimum bet of P40,000 per visit.

He said Carlos was banned by the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation in all casinos last April 3, upon the request of his family, which could have triggered the attack..

"He was barred by PAGCOR from all casinos because of the request of the next of kin. This would have probably triggered him kaya galit na galit siya doon sa casino," Albayalde said.

"Most probably mayroon siyang picture sa mga casinos kaya alam niya hindi siya basta-basta pwedeng pumasok sa casino para magsugal kasi meron siyang picture dyan at hindi siya papayagang pumasok dun sa [Resorts World] kaya he went there directly," he added.

During the press conference, members of Carlos' family asked for forgiveness for the senseless attack.

Armed with a rifle, Carlos torched gaming tables and fired several shots at the Resorts World Manila's casino area early Friday before torching and shooting himself in one of the rooms of the hotel.

Thirty-seven guests and employees of the posh casino-hotel died in the incident, mostly due to suffocation.


Meanwhile, the NCRPO chief said he was hoping the release of Carlos' identity would end speculations that the Resort World attack was a terrorist act.

"On this note, we also reiterate our prior statements that 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 said.

"We have and will continue to base our pronouncements on facts and evidence properly gathered. We will not allow people or any threat group to use this situation to advance their propaganda or personal causes whether foreign or local," he added. —Joseph Tristan Roxas/ALG, GMA News