The Resorts World Manila incident that killed more than 30 people was a “clear example of a lone wolf terrorist attack,” Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez said on Saturday, June 3.
This was contrary to the police’s claim that the attack by a lone gunman at the casino hotel early Friday morning was a case of robbery, and not an act of terror.
“I disagree with the conclusion reached by law enforcement authorities that the Resorts World incident was not a terrorist act but rather a criminal case of armed robbery and arson,” Alvarez, a staunch ally of the administration, said in a statement.
“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,” he said.
Alvarez urged authorities to get their acts together and put in place the highest level of security measures to prevent the same incident from happening again
“The incident should be a wake-up call for the police and the military to cooperate closely in making the seat of government and our financial and business center safe from any terrorist attack, whether by ‘lone wolves’ or heavily armed terrorist contingents, as what happened in Marawi City,” he said.
Over a hundred people had been reported killed in the ongoing battle in Marawi City between the government forces and Islamic militants belonging to the Maute group.
“We must draw up a clear and better plan to secure Metro Manila and other urban centers from IS-linked groups that we already know will attempt to kill and maim in pursuit of their jihadist ideology,” the Speaker said.
Alvarez also called on business establishments to do their share and exhaust all means to ensure the safety of people in places of convergence.
“They must ensure CCTVs and similar security monitoring equipment are adequate in number and all in working condition, and security personnel are properly trained to spot and deal with suspicious individuals with possible criminal intent,” he said.
“We also urge the citizenry to actively help the government fight terrorism in all its forms by providing information to authorities on suspicious or unusual activities in their communities,” the lawmaker added.
Among those who died in the Resorts World attack in Manila was Elizabeth Panlilio Gonzales, wife of Pampanga Representative Aurelio Gonzales.
“We express our profound sorrow that innocent people, including Mrs. Gonzales, lost their lives in this unspeakable tragedy. But we should not let this instill fear among the citizenry,” Alvarez said. With reports from Gian Lee.