In the Philippines, officials have reportedly identified the armed man that last week killed 37 people and injured 53 others after setting fire to the casino inside the Resorts World Manila development.
According to a report from the Agence France-Presse news service, father-of-three Jessie Javier Carlos was revealed as the man that walked into the Resorts World Manila complex early on Friday morning carrying an M4 rifle and a bottle of gasoline. Subsequent security footage reportedly showed the Manila resident calmly strolling through the casino and setting fires while firing warning shots into the air.
The news service reported that 43-year-old Carlos had at one point fired his gun at security guards but missed before breaking into a secure room where chips and money were being kept. The assailant was found dead in one of the development’s 1,574 hotel rooms about five hours after beginning his attack as a result of setting himself alight.
Although it was first thought that Carlos could have been an Islamic terrorist, Agence France-Presse reported that the attacker was a member of the Catholic faith that had been fired from his job as a tax specialist with the nation’s Department Of Finance in 2014 for holding high-value loans and for lying on official forms about unexplained assets and properties.
“We reiterate that this is not an act of terrorism but this incident is confined to the act of one man alone,” Manila police chief Oscar Albayalde reportedly told a press conference on Sunday. “He is heavily indebted due to being hooked to casino gambling. This became the cause of misunderstanding with his wife and parents. He was barred by [the Philippine Amusement And Gaming Corporation] from all casinos because of the request of next of kin. This could have probably triggered him. That’s why he was so mad at casinos.”
The Philippine Star newspaper reported that Andrea Domingo, Chief Executive Officer for the Philippine Amusement And Gaming Corporation, later confirmed that the regulator had issued Carlos a one-year player exclusion order on March 27 as a result of an application submitted by his wife, Maria Angelita. This resulted in the assailant being banned from any casino in the Philippines including previous haunts such as the Resorts World Manila and the nearby City Of Dreams Manila and Solaire Resort And Casino.
“It is our hope that gaming in the country will remain as a form of entertainment and not as a means to destroy individuals and families,” Domingo told the newspaper.
The Philippine Star moreover reported that Carlos had once lost over $121,100 after only one night of gambling, while the exclusion order meant that he had become one of around 450 people barred from playing in the nation’s casinos.
“We ask for forgiveness,” Carlos’ mother, Teodora Carlos, told the Sunday press conference. “My son was a good child to us. But since he started playing at the casinos, that’s all he did. He did not visit us. It was painful for us not to see him.”