Three panels at the House of Representatives on Wednesday opened an inquiry into the alleged security lapses during the recent Resorts World attack that claimed the lives of 38 people.
The House committees on games and amusements, tourism and public order and safety convened at 9 a.m. at the conference hall of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 3. The hearing was supervised by Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez and Majority Floor Leader Rudy Fariñas.
In his opening remarks, Antipolo City Rep. Romeo Acop, chairman of the committee on public order and safety, said the casino attack demonstrates the country’s vulnerability to terrorism.
Acop stressed the need to look into the security lapses and the gambling industry.
Games and amusements committee chairman Gus Tambunting of Parañaque City said congress should use its legislative power to beef up the security and intelligence agencies of the government to prevent a repeat of the tragedy.
Tambunting said one issue that has to be addressed is the security plan of government agencies in cooperation with the private sector.
He also raised the problem of gambling addiction. “Gambling in itself is not wrong. What is wrong is when a person becomes obsessed with gambling to the point of addiction,” he said.
Leyte Rep. Lucy Torres-Gomez, chairman of the tourism committee, warned of the possible consequences of the incident to the tourism industry.
Among those invited to the House probe include officials of the Philippine National Police, Bureau of Fire Protection, Resorts World Hotel and Casino, and the Pasay City building permits department.
On June 2, a lone gunman barged into the luxury casino hotel and torched gaming tables and stole P113 million worth of casino chips, which were later recovered. Authorities later found the gunman burned beyond recognition in a fifth floor hotel room
The gunman was identified as Jessie Carlos, a former employee of the Department of Finance.