Almost everyone presumed that the Manila casino attack was carried out by Islamic State, ISIS or Daesh. Some media reports claimed that the man was Caucasian, something increasingly presumed to be associated with extremist elements.
While the smoke billowed from the casino that many claimed was due to firing from ISIS terrorists, there were speculations about the number of attackers and their nationalities. But two days after the mayhem was over, dozens of people including the attackers were dead, it came to light that there was actually no ISIS inside. Resorts World Manila looked completely destroyed after the death of 36 people.
Earlier today, authorities confirmed that there was only a singer attacker and not multiple attackers as many presumed and identified him as 42-year old Jessie Javier Carlos. Police confirmed that Carlos was a Filipino citizen and a former employee of the Department of Finance.
Authorities claim that the attacker, armed with an automatic rifle, stormed the Resorts World Manila casino and hotel in the early hours of June 1. He fired shots and set alight gambling tables. Carlos later committed suicide.
Officials claim that the victims were not slaughtered by the attackers, but they lost their lives due to suffocation in the smoke from the fire.
A police officer told the media, “He was heavily indebted due to being hooked to casino gambling, according to his immediate family…He has a bank account with an outstanding debt of 4 million pesos ($80,000) and several other non-bank related debt”. Carlos used to work as a tax specialist of the Department of Finance and was dismissed from service in 2014 for failing to disclose all of his assets.
Philippines Finance Ministry officials claim that Carlos’ civil service eligibility was also cancelled, his retirement benefits forfeited and he was perpetually disqualified from reemployment in the government. The suspect has three children, but was separated from his wife. The police have ruled out that the attack was terror related. “On this note, we also reiterate our prior statements that this is not an act of terrorism,” the police officer said, adding that it was a case of a botched robbery.
A report according to the CNN Philippines, Jessie Carlos “was sued by the DoF in 2011 for unexplained wealth, Ombudsman rejected his motion for reconsideration in 2014.The CCTV footage released by authorities showed the gunman setting gambling tables ablaze as he moved throughout the resort. CNN reported that most of the dead were found in the casino’s VIP room. The videos show a painstakingly methodical attack as the shooter gets out of a taxi and strolls calmly inside the casino. “Shortly afterward, he dons a black ski mask, slips on an ammunition vest and pulls an M4 carbine assault rifle out of his backpack,” reports Bloomberg.
In the meantime, Carlos’ mother and father joined authorities at the June 3 press conference to request forgiveness for their son’s actions. According to Bloomberg, Carlos’ mother, Teodora, wept as she said, “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 than kill and 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.” Carlos’ wife had recognized him from the surveillance footage that was released but was afraid, reported CNN.