Speaker revives terrorism angle in Resorts World Manila attack


Posted at Jun 07 2017 01:49 PM | Updated as of Jun 07 2017 01:54 PM

Employees light candles during a memorial for those killed in a casino fire caused by a gunman at Resorts World in Pasay City, Friday. Dondi Tawatao, Reuters

MANILA - House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez on Wednesday chastised police investigators for insisting that the attack on Resorts World Manila last Friday was not a terrorist act. 

During a House investigation into the incident that left 38 peple dead, Alvarez asked Metro Manila police director Chief Supt. Oscar Albayalde to define terrorism, which the latter characterized as "an act of violence that would create massive casualties and massive fear in the population." 

Albayalde said that based on this definition, the casino attack cannot be considered as a terrorist act since the gunman apparently did not intend to kill when he set gaming tables ablaze, causing thick smoke that suffocated the victims. 

Alvarez, however, insisted that the gunman's actions sparked widespread fear and may thus be considered a terror attack. 

"Kung nag-cause ng terror so anong tawag natin doon? It's an act of terrorism right? It's an act of terrorism by itself, strictly defined?" he continued. 

"Simply a person who harms and kills any body indiscriminately is an act of terrorism, whether or not he is a member of a terrorist (group) or is a known terrorist."

President Rodrigo Duterte, police investigators and the casino officials all earlier said that the attack was not the work of terrorists, pointing out that the lone suspect did not bother directly hurting the people he encountered. 

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