Malacañang on Friday extended its sympathies to the families of those who died in the attack that rocked the upscale Resorts World Manila on Friday.
“The Palace wishes to express its deep condolences to the families and friends of the victims of the Resorts World Manila’s latest incident,” Palace spokesman Ernesto Abella said in a statement.
“This is a reminder that civilized society has no place for this kind of violence. Thus, President Rodrigo Roa Duterte has put the campaign against criminality as a centerpiece program of his administration,” he added.
According to National Capital Region Police Office chief Director Oscar Albayalde, at least 37 people killed during the attack, including the gunman who remains unidentified.
Abella said the deaths of 36 people were “due to suffocation at the second floor gaming area, which had been set on fire by the perpetrator who eventually committed suicide on the fifth floor of the Maxims Hotel, where he set himself on fire and then shot himself.”
“All indications point to a criminal act by an apparently emotionally disturbed individual. Although the perpetrator gave warning shots, there apparently was no indication that he wanted to harm or shoot anyone,” he said.
“The only other individual who sustained a gunshot wound was the security guard who accidentally shot himself,” the Palace official added.
Abella assured the public that there was no direct link to the shooting incident and the ongoing clashes between government forces and Maute bandits in Marawi City.
“The situation in Marawi is no longer considered a law enforcement situation but a matter of national security,” he said.
Police earlier said the “Caucasian-looking” male suspect barged into the Resorts World casino carrying long firearms, shot an LED TV and then tried to ransack P113 million worth of chips from a casino storage room.
He later committed suicide by setting himself on fire inside a room at the Maxims Hotel, police said. CATHERINE S. VALENTE