Although acknowledging security lapses that allowed gunman Jessie Carlos to enter the casino and set part of it on fire, members of the House committees on public order and safety, games and amusements, and tourism, decided merely to “exhort the RWM management to review the company’s security policies and strengthen their security and safety programs.”
Carlos, a problem gambler barred from entering casinos, managed to sneak into the casino with his firearm in a failed robbery attempt. Official investigation, however, confirmed that the victims suffocated to death from the fire Carlos had set. Carlos took his own life before the authorities could arrest him.
Among the security lapses listed in the committee report were “the lack of an efficient and effective security plan and protocol, lack of training and reduced deployment of security personnel.”
CCTV operators were also unable to locate the whereabouts of victims, leading to the inability of first responders and law enforcement authorities to assist them.
Emergency evacuation protocol as provided in RWM manuals was also reportedly not followed. In addition, RWM security officers were given permission to use firearms at the scene, even though they were said to have lacked the license for this.
Disagreeing with the joint panel recommendations was Rep. Tom Villarin, who said, “If there were lapses in security, there should be accountability, as dozens were killed and injured by such senseless killing spree by a lone gunman. It makes no sense to recommend ‘exhortations’ to do better next time while clear negligence was determined either by institutions or responsible persons in the incident. It does not give justice to the victims and families of the attack.”
Other recommendations given were speedy passage of a Philippine National Police reorganization and modernization bill, and a review of the Bureau of Fire Protection and Bureau of Jail Management and Penology Professionalization Act, and the Private Security Agency Law, among other existing legislation.
RWM is owned and operated by Travellers International Hotel Group, Inc.