MANILA - What was supposed to be a relaxing time inside a cafe in Resorts World Manila turned into a horrific experience for Ian Christopher So, who recalled how he was on a hide and seek with the gunman.
"Nakikipag-patintero na kami sa gunman," So wrote in his Facebook post, which was attached to a video of his actual escape from the casino-hotel.
In a video shared to Bayan Mo, i-Patrol Mo, So showed how he and several others sought exit as smoke filled the area, after the still unidentified suspect set casino tables on fire.
While searching for a safe place, So said he saw other casino guests and employees who warned them about a masked assailant.
"May mga nakita kaming employee din nang RW [Resorts World] bumalik, tumatakbo kasi may bumabaril na sa kanila na naka-mask. Then we went dun sa other exit. Slowly we went down but heard another gunshot. We went up again," he said in his post.
While descending another exit, So said they "heard another gunshot," prompting them to go back up again.
"Then napunta na kami sa theatre. Stayed for about 15 minutes. Then meron kaming narinig sinisira yung fire exit na pinasukan namin papasok ng theatre. We went to another exit and napunta kami sa likod lang nang theatre. Nakikipag-patintero na kami sa gunman," So added.
So said they eventually reached the control room, which proved to be their safest option.
"Napunta na kame sa control room nang Resprts World Manila kasi safest na doon. Then we waited until ma-rescue kami," he added.
He said after the rescue, they passed through several corridors while going down Resorts World Manila. He and his companions stayed at the nearby Remington Hotel.
On Friday morning, authorities found at least 36 bodies from two floors of the casino complex, following an attack by the supposedly lone, heavily-armed suspect, who later committed suicide.
There was no evidence linking the attack at the Resorts World Manila entertainment complex to fighting between government troops and Islamist militants in the country's south, said Ernesto Abella, a spokesman for President Rodrigo Duterte.
"All indications point to a criminal act by an apparently emotionally disturbed individual," Abella told a media conference. "Although the perpetrator gave warning shots, there apparently was no indication that he wanted to do harm or shoot anyone."
Most of the dead suffocated in the chaos as guests and staff tried to flee choking smoke at the complex after the drama that began shortly after midnight.- With Reuters