Fariñas defends questioning Resorts World security chief on college degree

Trishia Billones, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 08 2017 05:28 PM

Resorts World head of security Armeen Gomez attends a House probe on the lapses in security and emergency protocols in the Resorts World tragedy, Pasay City, June 7, 2017. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News

MANILA - House Majority Leader Rodolfo Fariñas on Thursday defended his colleagues who questioned the qualifications of Resorts World Manila security chief Armeen Gomez in a House hearing. 

"It’s not much of the degree, but he was not properly trained, he did not have the proper educational background for such a job like [being] in charge of security and safety of 12,000 hotel guests. You should have someone with experience to handle such [cases]," Fariñas told ANC's Headstart.

Fariñas said the "problem started [when] they hired a chief of security and safety who is an undergraduate."

"During the conflagration or the problem, he was there. He did not even bring the policemen to the CCTV room where they could have isolated," said Fariñas. 

Gomez and other officials of Resorts World Manila, the Philippine National Police, and Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation faced the House of Representatives on Wednesday to probe supposed security lapses in the casino complex.

Asked about his educational background, Gomez on Wednesday initially told lawmakers he worked and studied after he was dismissed "for personal reasons" in the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) in 1998, and then claimed that he took Bachelor of Science in Business Management at Ateneo de Naga. 

But Gomez later retracted his statement and admitted he was not a college graduate. 

Thirty-seven people died of suffocation in Resorts World Manila after gambling addict Jesse Carlos wreaked havoc and set parts of the complex on fire.