Killer ‘a terrorist -- not a robber’
A GUNMAN who stormed and torched a Manila casino, killing 36 people, was a “lone wolf” terrorist, a top Philippines legislator said yesterday, contradicting the police’s assertion that the man had merely wanted to steal gambling chips.
The gunman, whose identity was still unknown, police said, killed himself in a hotel room after being shot by security officers at the Resorts World Manila entertainment complex.
A second “person of interest” who was in the casino at the time was co-operating with the investigation, police said.
Pantaleon Alvarez, speaker of the lower house of Congress and a close ally of President Rodrigo Duterte, said he was not convinced the incident was a criminal case of armed robbery and arson.
“This is a clear example of a ‘lone wolf’ terrorist attack targeting civilians to inflict maximum loss of life and damage to property, as what has happened in other countries,” Alvarez said.
Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack, but that was rejected by Philippines officials, who said it appeared to have been a botched robbery.
The attack at the casino hotel complex, which is close to an airport terminal and airforce base, lasted more than six hours. —