MANILA – The families of four Taiwanese victims in the lone-wolf attack at Resorts World Manila before dawn Friday are seeking compensation from the gaming firm for the death of their loved ones, Taiwanese Representative to the Philippines Gary Song-Huann Lin said Tuesday.
The families, however, expressed understanding that the attack was an “isolated incident” that could happen “in any given country,” holding no grudge against the casino or the Philippine government over their loss.
Speaking to ABS-CBN News, Lin said the families sought “proper compensation” from Resorts World on top of the P1 million assistance that the gaming firm had announced it would provide to the families of each of the 37 guests and employees who perished in the attack.
“They are demanding compensation according to international procedure and standard. I told them they should have a process, but not immediately because everybody is busy with the investigation, about issues [surrounding] the attack,” Lin said.
“They are waiting to receive proper compensation, because young lives have been lost and that 50-something, the wife, and the man about 60, still in our culture, 60 is still young,” he said, when reached by phone.
Lin said the Taiwanese victims were the Hung couple, the wife in her 50s and her 60-year-old husband, who were staying at Resorts World on a holiday; and the Lai cousins, a 23-year-old woman and a 25-year-old man, who were employed at the casino.
They were among 37 killed when gunman Jessie Carlos, a distraught gambler reeling from family problems and deep in debt, went on a rampage at the casino, torching gaming tables and stealing casino chips. He later killed himself in the adjoining Maxims Hotel.
Lin withheld the Taiwanese victims’ full names on their families’ request.
The bereaved relatives arrived in Pasay City early Saturday after they were granted express visas to go to the Philippines through facilitation by the Manila Economic and Cultural Office (MECO) in Taipei, he said.
Following Buddhist rites, the victims’ bodies were cremated Sunday evening. Their families then flew home with their ashes on Monday aboard the same flight to Taipei, Lin said.
The Taiwanese official said the families felt that Resorts World’s offer of a P1-million assistance would not be enough.
“Of course, P1 million is definitely not enough, and certainly this will be not acceptable. According to my understanding, [it is] not [the] compensation itself. This is humanitarian… initial assistance, to help the families to go ahead with all the funeral [arrangements],” said Lin.
He said the bereaved families understood that getting full compensation from Resorts World might take time. He said the Taiwan Economic and Cultural Office in Manila would be ready to help in the process.
“They fully understand. They understand what we are saying. They realize there should be a process and a procedure,” Lin said.
He expressed gratitude to the Philippine government for helping facilitate the repatriation of the Taiwanese victims.
He also thanked President Rodrigo Duterte for his “very kind gesture” of visiting the wake of three of the Taiwanese victims at the Veronica Memorial Chapel in Pasay City late Saturday night.
He said Philippine authorities and the Resorts World management acted swiftly in getting the victims identified.
“Of course, we are very sorry to know that this tragic incident happened… We are very grateful that the government of the Philippines has done its very best to facilitate documentation, which enabled the families to see the four Taiwanese [victims],” said Lin.