Ex-Philippines govt employee blamed for casino attack

Ex-Philippines govt employee blamed for casino attack

The gunman who burst into the Resorts World Manila entertainment complex early on Friday, firing shots, setting gaming tables alight and killing dozens, all suffocating in thick smoke, had been labelled by a top lawmaker as a "lone wolf" terrorist. The Strait Times reported that Albayalde said Carlos' family said he had been hooked on gambling and was in debt by at least four million pesos, the USA equivalent of $111,897.

"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", Mr. Albayalde said yesterday.

He had been banned from all casinos by the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation at the request of his family, which police are looking at as a motive for his attack at the Resort World Manila casino in the early hours of Friday.

The Philippines has faced Muslim uprisings for decades, though much of the violence has occurred in the troubled south.

The attacked was found dead in a room in a hotel adjacent to the casino building, burned beyond recognition and with a gunshot to the head.

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte also said on Saturday that the attack was "not the work" of Daesh.

The attacker's mother, Teodora, in tears during the news briefing, asked for forgiveness, the wire service reports.

Carlos - identified as a "high roller" who usually placed a minimum bet of P40,000 - is said to have P4 million in debt with banks, plus an undisclosed amount of non-bank-related debts, due to his gambling problem. "It was painful for us not to see him", she said at the press conference.

He was wielding an M4 assault rifle, Armeen Gomez, chief security officer of Resorts World Manila, said at a news conference.

Funeral parlor workers unload the body of a victim after an armed attack at Resorts World Manila hotel and casino complex in Pasay City.

He died after setting himself on fire, said police.

After Carlos was wounded in an exchange of gunfire with security guards, he broke into a hotel room on the fifth floor, set fire to the room and shot himself, police said. Authorities have rejected the militants' claim. Philippine police say the attacker was a tall, English-speaking white man with a mustache.

He managed to get inside the room, but having found no cash, he stuffed his bag instead with 113 million pesos worth of casino chips. "They express their deepest sympathy to the families and friends of the victims and to the public in general", Albayalde said.

He made his remarks on Saturday in the southern Philippines.

His attack at Resorts World Manila took place a week after Duterte declared martial law and suspended the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus in Mindanao, as soldiers and Maute Group terrorists clash in Marawi City, Lanao del Sur.

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