The Daily Manila Shimbun


Gunman spoke “fluent Tagalog”, picked up cab in San Lazaro: Police

June 3, 2017

Authorities have yet to identify the gunman who attacked the Resort World Manila on Friday other than he could speak fluent Tagalog and hailed a taxi in San Lazaro going to the hotel. “We have not ascertained the identity of the gunman. However we are doing our best. We have the taxi driver his with us today giving his account so we were able to backtrack and we were able to identify the gunman,” National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) Director Oscar Albayalde told reporters in a press briefing in Pasay City on Saturday. The management of Resort World Manila showed the CCTV ( close circuit television) footages showing the activity of the suspect during the attack. The CCTV footage confirmed the suspect alighted from a taxi. “As per interview with the taxi driver, the suspect speaks Tagalog, and he can speak fluent Tagalog. Of course, he said the suspect has white skin, and has a big built,” “He picked him up somewhere in San Lazaro, Manila,” he added. The driver, whom Albayalde did not identify, did not notice anything unusual in the suspect's behavior. "He told us it was all normal. The suspect conversed with the taxi driver in Tagalog," said Albayalde. The suspect requested the driver to change the radio station from music to news. When asked what was the gunman's reason,  Albayalde said: "He just want to listen to the news." Albayalde said authorities are using other means to confirm identity of the suspect. “Yes, that will be part of our investigation, the DNA testing, the dental and dentures although we were not able to get fingerprints anymore. We were not able to get ID’s because he was totally burned… We got the example of his blood, also the blood stain along the stairwell. Everything was taken and also we conducted autopsy. We still have to wait for the result from our SOCO team,” he said. Albayalde emphasized that the government authorities do not yet see any indication that would relate the incident to terrorism. “Until we get any indications that this is part of a terror attack or if he is a member of any terror group then we could possibly say that this is related to any terror attack… we cannot really speculate here,” he said. “If he is really a terrorist (with) all his ammunition with him, he would have shot everybody there. You see he’s even changing magazines so what we saw there he changed magazine for at least three times with all ammunition that would have killed hundreds of people inside that establishment. But he did not shoot anybody he did not hurt anybody. He just burned the casino,” he added. Albayalde also reiterate no one among the total of 37 victims died from gunshot wounds and only one hotel security personnel sustained gunshot wounds. “We have not received from the hospital ( a report) that they were shot or they were injured because of gunshot wound. The only person that was injured because of gunshot wound was the internal security of Resort World. All other we have not received information that they were injured because of gunshot wound,” he said. “As of this moment we have not received also from our SOCO that anybody from the 36 who were discovered inside the casino died because of any gunshot wound the findings as of this time they all died because of suffocation,” he added. DMS