Eye in the sky: Cops unaware of 2nd CCTV room in Resorts World


Posted at Jun 07 2017 04:04 PM

MANILA - Lawmakers on Wednesday grilled both the police and management of Resorts World Manila for their lack of coordination that would have easily neutralized the lone gunman during last week's attack.

During Wednesday's hearing, Majority Floor Leader Rep. Rodolfo Fariñas questioned why Resorts World Manila management failed to inform the police that it had a secondary CCTV room to monitor the movements of the gunman, identified as Jessie Carlos. 

The lawmaker was referring to the second surveillance room that was said to have been in operation after the primary CCTV room was evacuated.

Fariñas questioned National Capital Region Police Office Director Oscar Albayalde on why the police did not coordinate with the people manning the CCTV room to better track the movement of Carlos.

"During this time, wala na po kaming alam na mayroon silang tao doon sa CCTV room. According to them, the CCTV room was evacuated also," Albayalde said.

But RWM chief operating officer Stephen Reilly clarified that they in fact have two surveillance rooms.

"Two surveillance rooms were in operation, one being the primary which is for gaming operations that was evacuated when the gunman got near to that surveillance room," Reilly said.

However, Reilly added that control was passed over to the second CCTV room which has a complete surveillance of the entire property and is located in Remington Hotel.

Fariñas was irked after he could not get a straight answer from RWM security personnel on why they failed to pass on information to the police that a secondary CCTV room was in operation.

"Why did you not bring them to the secondary room?" he asked.

Armeen Gomez, RWM chief security officer, said he acted as ground commander for his team and was receiving information from Alfred Lagarde, who is in charge of the RWM surveillance rooms.

However, it turned out that Lagarde was not at any of the surveillance rooms when the attack happened.

"I was inside the casino at the time. My assistant director Christopher Babiera, he gave me the information," he said.

Fariñas earlier said it is possible hearsay and not vital information was being passed on to those at the scene during the attack. "Uso hearsay dito. Baka mamaya limang tao yung pinagdadaanan ng impormasyon mo," he said. 

Thirty-seven guests and employees perished in the attack last Friday. The gunman, identified Jessie Javier Carlos, was a former government employee and a casino high roller.