TO his parents, 42-year-old Jessie Javier Carlos was a good son who lived a quiet life that went downhill because of just one vice – casino gambling.
Carlos’ parents Teodora and Fernando were thus shocked when they found out Jessie was the lone gunman who barged into Resorts World Manila past midnight on Friday and set himself on fire in a hotel room after a bungled robbery attempt.
“I’m calling on all parents to not allow your children to get hooked on casino gambling. We can’t believe that our son turned out that way because of the casino. We are asking for your forgiveness,” Teodora told reporters in Filipino on Sunday in a news conference in which police revealed that their son was behind the casino attack.
Jessie left behind three children, ages 17, 14 and 8, with wife Angelita. The spouses were not in speaking terms because of Jessie’s gambling addiction and financial woes, although they lived under one roof.
Their neighbors at Felix Huertas Street in Santa Cruz, Manila, told The Manila Times the Carloses operate a preschool, WIA Academy, in the first floor of the family residence. They were last seen during the New Year revelry.
“Hindi ho nakihalubilo ang mga `yan dito. Huli kung nakita lumabas `yan nu’ng New Year [They never interacted with their neighbors. The last time I saw them was during the New Year celebration],” said Carla, 29.
Carlos often went out of the house in a white Mitsubishi FB 300 van or a motorcycle.
On Sunday, the Department of Finance (DOF) confirmed that Carlos was a former employee, a tax specialist assigned to the graft-ridden one-stop shop center for tax credits and duty drawbacks.
He was dismissed in 2014 and sued by the DOF’s Revenue Integrity Protection Service (RIPS) for failing to disclose truthfully all his assets in his statement of assets, liabilities net worth (SALN), records showed.
“In a 17-page Decision received on April 25, 2014, the Ombudsman dismissed Carlos for Grave Misconduct and Gross Neglect of Duty for not declaring his house and lot in Manila in his 2003 to 2006 SALNs, his Toyota Innova SUV (sport utility vehicle) in his 2007 SALN and his business interest in his 2010 SALN,” according to a statement posted on the RIPS website.
“Carlos, whose total income from 2001 to 2011 grossed P2,460,156.00 was found by the Ombudsman to have purchased, in cold cash, two (2) farm lots in Tanauan City, Batangas for P4,000,000.00 in 2010,” it added.
“The Ombudsman also took note of Carlos’ huge loans,” a news release issued by the DOF-RIPS on May 7, 2014 said.
Southern Police District chief Tomas Apolinario told reporters there was a time when Carlos berated a casino employee because of a delay in the issuance of a VIP card.
The incident was recorded by the casino but since it was a minor infraction, it did not lead to any case, he said.
Carlos was a frequent casino player, but not in Resorts World Manila. He was a high-roller, and based on information obtained by authorities, his average bet per game was P40,000.
On Sunday, Senate President Aquilino Pimentel 3rd, called on the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. to establish a counseling program to help casino addicts.
“Also casinos should be reminded not to take advantage of addicted gamblers or players not having full control of their mental faculties while gambling,” he said in a statement.
WILLIAM B. DEPASUPIL WITH A REPORT FROM MAYVELIN U. CARABALLO