Manila casino attacker ‘a gambling addict’
MANILA - Agence France-PresseAn armed man who killed 37 people when he set fire to a casino in the Philippine capital was a father-of-three from Manila motivated by heavy gambling debts and not terrorism, police said yesterday.
The identification of the assailant as Jessie Javier Carlos, a Catholic, proves that claims by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) that it was responsible for June 2’s attack were false, Manila police chief Oscar Albayalde told reporters. “We reiterate that this is not an act of terrorism but this incident is confined to the act of one man alone,” Albayalde said as he sat alongside Carlos’s parents and wife at a press conference held to announce the identity of the attacker.
Albayalde said Carlos was aged 43, had three children and had been banned from all casinos in April by the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (Pagcor) following a request from his family because of his gambling addiction.
“He is heavily indebted due to being hooked to casino gambling. This became the cause of misunderstanding with his wife and parents,” Albayalde said. “He was barred by Pagcor 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.”
Carlos walked into the Resorts World casino and hotel complex in Manila on June 2 with an M4 automatic rifle and a bottle of petrol, before setting alight a number of different rooms in the complex, according to police accounts.
Thirty-seven people died in the fires, dozens more were injured in a stampede to escape, and Carlos was found dead about five hours later in a hotel room after committing suicide by setting fire to himself.