DNA test ordered on body of ‘RWM gunman’

June 5, 2017 - 5:24 PM
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Composite Jessie Carlos RWM suspect
Gen. Oscar Albayalde, National Capital Region Police Office chief, shows a file photograph of Jessie Javier Carlos, identified as the armed robber responsible for the Resorts World Manila caper that resulted in a fire where at least 38 persons died. (file)

MANILA – Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II has directed the National Bureau of Investigation to conduct a DNA examination on the body of the alleged lone gunman found dead – burned, and with a bullet wound – inside a room after sowing two hours of mayhem that killed 38 people at Resorts World Manila.

Aguirre said the DNA test is meant to put to rest all speculation that the body found in the room is not that of Jessie Javier Carlos, who was tagged the lone perpetrator after his family went to the police and identified him as the one they saw in the screenshots from CCTV footage during the attack that began past midnight Friday (June 2).

“Yes, I ordered the NBI to conduct DNA examination on the remains of the gunman to erase doubts on the identity established by the PNP through the family,” Aguirre said in a text message to reporters on Monday.

NCRPO chief Gen. Oscar Albayalde, at a press conference Sunday noon, had presented the immediate family and a witness – the gas station attendant who sold him two 1.5-liter containers of gasoline – as he tagged Carlos the gunman, putting to rest all speculation it was a terror attack, or even specifically the handiwork of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. The ISIS was earlier reported to have owned the assault.

Carlos, 42, was a former Finance department tax specialist dismissed from service in 2014 over misdeclarations in his statement of assets liabilities and networth (SALN).

His family described him as addicted to gambling, and in March 2017, had gotten state gaming regulator PAGCOR to issue an order barring him from all casinos. He had racked up some P4 million in debts in one casino alone.

With Carlos’ family’s stepping forward, police said they were definitely ruling out terrorism in the Resorts World tragedy.

However, the DOJ wanted the DNA done to finally conclude the investigation, since the body of the gunman found in Room 510 was severely burned.

From a timeline pieced together by probers from the CCTV and witness accounts – he had apparently shot, and set himself on fire after torching gaming tables at the second floor, and stuffing P113 million worth of platinum chips in his backpack.

None of the 37 other people who died in the tragedy were hit by bullets, as Carlos was never seen shooting at people directly. Most deaths were caused by smoke inhalation from the arson spree at the casino gaming areas.