As cops dismiss terror angle, NBI turns sights to RWM, gov’t accountability

June 4, 2017 - 7:58 PM
The NBI headquarters in Manila. (Philstar file)

MANILA – Justice Secretary Vitaliano N. Aguirre II has ordered the National Bureau of Investigation to look into the possible accountability of Resorts World Manila and government units over the shooting and fire incident that killed 38 people, including the lone gunman, at the RWM past midnight Friday.

“We need to know and to determine the responsibility and the liability, if any, of anyone which made possible the tragic events at Resorts World Manila. Whoever is responsible for allowing this tragedy to occur should be made accountable under our laws and before our courts,” Aguirre said Sunday.

“We will be remiss in our duties if we fail to do so. The Filipino people, the families of the victims and the memories of the innocent victims themselves deserve no less!” Aguirre said.

He signed Department Order No. 354 granting NBI the authority to conduct investigation and case build up of the two-hour mayhem sparked by a 42-year-old man, described as a “deeply indebted gambling addict,” who caused panic by shooting in the air and torching gaming tables and slot machines on the second floor.

None of the deaths was traced to bullet wounds, but mostly to smoke inhalation and injuries from the stampede as people panicked.

Aguirre wants the NBI to determine:

• whether there is criminal, civil, administrative culpability on any agency, office and instrumentality of the government and;

• whether there is criminal, civil, administrative culpability against the owners, managers and employees of Resorts World Manila.

“The ultimate goal is to file appropriate charges, if any, as the evidence may warrant. Tragedies like these should not be allowed to happen again”, Justice Secretary Aguirre said.