Jessie Javier Carlos has been identified as the man who took the entire Resorts World Manila hostage and led to the death of as many as 37 people. Later he is said to have committed suicide by dousing kerosene oil on himself and putting him on fire.
While initially there was confusion about his identity with many media outlets claiming him to be an ISIS jihadi, official sources later confirmed his identity, saying he was a Filipino and had been removed from his job at the tax department due to financial irregularities. His wife, who had divorced him sometimes ago was the first to actually spot and recognize him on television. Later, his parents too recognized him and told the officials about the identity of the gunman.
The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, known as Daesh due to its Arabic acronym had tried to confuse everyone by claiming that it was behind the Manila casino attack.
The confusion would have continued, had the he man’s immediate family not confirmed his identity as Jessie Carlos. His parents recognized him a married father of three and former Finance Department. Reports suggest that he was under heavy debt and the amount he owed was more than $80,000.
Later, Manila police chief Oscar Albayalde confirmed that “this is not an act of terrorism…This incident is confined to the act of one man alone as we have always said.”
The confusion would have persisted had his father not come forward and apologized what his son did. On Sunday, Carlos’ father told reporters that his son had no connections to terrorism. Carlos’ distraught mother, Teodora, wept and asked for forgiveness.
“We’re asking for your apology. We can’t accept ourselves that my son became like this, he was a very kind son…He chose to end his life rather than … kill people…The message of what happened to my son is people should not get hooked on gambling so their families won’t get destroyed,” she said.
Reports suggest that Carlos’ wife was also brought before reporters. She was so distressed, she entered in a wheelchair and kept her head, hidden by a cream-colored towel, down on a desk as she sat beside the police. Oscar Albayalde, while talking to reporters said, “This is the truth. This is all the truth”. Early Friday, a gunman entered the Resorts World Manila, an upmarket hotel and casino complex near the Ninoy Aquino International Airport, firing shots from an assault rifle and setting fire to gambling tables. Most of the victims are believed to have died due to suffocation from the smoke.
A timeline of the incident suggest that Jessie Carlos Javier burgled into a room and stole gaming chips, stuffing chips totaling 113 million pesos ($2.3 million) in a backpack, which police later recovered. Carlos was shot and wounded by security guards, and retreated into a hotel room, where he doused a bed with gasoline and shot himself, police said. He was found dead around 7 a.m. local time, according to a statement from the resort.