MANILA - A lawmaker on Wednesday grilled Resorts World Manila's security chief, calling the gaming facility's security "lax" and their response to the attack by a lone gunman "laxer."
Majority Floor Leader Rodolfo Fariñas said the Resort World's in-house security could have neutralized the lone gunman, Jessie Carlos, given that they had least 200 security personnel deployed at the time of the attack.
"With all the high-tech facilities that we have there, how could it take you 6 hours? With 200 people, even without the police, you would've been able to neutralize the gunman," Fariñas said during a House probe.
Armeen Gomez, security chief of Resorts World Manila, admitted they had 200 security personnel in the area at the time of the attack but because of the perceived terror attack, they had to notify the police for reinforcement.
"The gunman bypassed the metal detector. Our security personnel deployed attempted to stop him but the assailant managed to overpower the security. It was obviously a far superior force being executed by a perceived terrorist," he said.
"Some were even shouting, 'ISIS! ISIS!' With these assumptions at that point, we immediately realized that it's beyond our capacity already, that's why within 1 minute, we immediately notified the PNP [Philippine National Police] for reinforcement," he added.
According to Gomez, Resorts World has a 3-tier security system: they have fully armed security personnel in the perimeter, the second layer is in the mall area, the last layer in the casino area.
"Nung bumaba 'yung gunman sa ground floor ay very casual siya kaya even 'yung nakadeploy, hindi niya napansin dahil sumabay siya sa mga guest," Gomez said.
Fariñas was not convinced, however, and said Resorts World could have pursued the gunman inside, given that the company had 2,500 CCTV cameras in their facilities.
"Your hotel is lax in security with even laxer [with your] reaction. He was roaming around burning tables. The one in the monitor could have followed him everywhere he goes. But there was no pursuit," he said.
"This was a lone person who the PNP has scouted as not even a terrorist. What if 10 terrorists go in there? Can you imagine how many lives would have been lost?" he added.