Authorities have recovered 37 bodies from the Resorts World Manila in Pasay City hours after a gunman went on a rampage in the casino resort early Friday morning, a police official confirmed.
National Capital Region Police Office chief Director Oscar Albayalde said the 37 fatalities include the gunman who remains unidentified.
Presidential Spokesman Ernesto Abella said most of the victims died "due to suffocation at the second floor gaming area, which had been set on fire by the perpetrator."
At least 54 others were brought to nearby hospitals after sustaining injuries, officials said.
Police earlier said the "Caucasian-looking" male suspect barged into the casino carrying long firearms, shot an LED TV and then tried to ransack P113 million worth of chips from a casino storage room. He later committed suicide by setting himself on fire inside a room at the Maxims Hotel, police said.
Abella said there is no direct link to the shooting incident and the ongoing clashes between government forces and Maute bandits in Marawi City.
Police officials have ruled out terror motives saying the man was operating alone, but eyewitnesses stand by their claim that they saw other gunmen inside the entertainment complex.