MANILA - The Philippine National Police Supervisory Office for Security and Investigation Agencies (PNP-SOSIA) has ordered the immediate relief of all on-duty guards provided by NC Lanting Security Specialist Agency stationed at the Maxims Hotel and Newport Mall at Resorts World Manila (RWM) during the attack that left 38 people dead on June 2.
This was the result of PNP-SOSIA’s final investigation on security lapses during the attack, where gunman Jessie Carlos, a gambler deep in debt, barged into the casino, fired shots in the air, set gaming tables on fire, and stole casino chips. He later killed himself.
“By virtue of the power vested by laws, rules and regulations to the PNP, exercised through the SOSIA, NC Lanting Security Specialist Agency is hereby ordered to prohibit guard duties and hereby relieve its posted security guards at the entrances and exits of Maxims Hotel and Newport Mall of Resorts World Manila until further notice,” PNP-SOSIA said.
Investigation revealed security lapses committed by NC Lanting Security Specialist Agency, security provider at Resorts World Manila, when only one security guard was assigned at the 2nd Floor Retail Parking Entrance.
“The duty pairing system was not observed since only a lady security guard (LG Mary Grace Rivera Rayala) manned the post where the culprit entered as shown on the CCTV (closed circuit television) footages from RWM and through the admission of Lanting Management and security guard Edwin Parulan Ciriaco, who was also a lone roving guard at the 2nd , 3rd and 4th floor of the mall,” the report read.
In a phone interview with ABS-CBN, PNP-SOSIA Director Chief Superintendent Jose Mario Espino said the buddy system in terms of security is practiced especially when covering strategic locations.
“It is a general principle in security. The security guards must be in pairs kapag nagdu-duty. Crucial iyon particularly sa mga entrances because iyong sa gender sensitivity natin. There should be a male and female guard," Espino said.
"Sa pagkakataong iyon, it’s the management decision na ang deployment na babae lang daw para pwedeng kapkapan niya na rin iyong lalaki. It’s a violation."
In the course of the investigation, the PNP-SOSIA found out that there was no duty guard at the executive lift where Carlos entered.
“Doon sa executive lift nila kung saan pumasok si Carlos, talagang wala pala silang duty pala after 7 p.m. Very crucial, kasi wala nang nag-i-inspect kung may pupunta, papasok sa elevator,” Espino said.
Espino said the casino hotel did not tighten its security, especially after the PNP issued an advisory on bomb threats.
“May advisory ang PAGCOR, kami rin may advisory rin kami kasi nga with the Asean meeting, constant threat ng bombing. Bakit ganon pa rin ang security deployment na sinusunod nila?” he said.
PNP-SOSIA, which supervises and regulates private security agencies, also noted the guards' lack of training in terms of mall security.
The lady guard stationed at the mall entrance played a crucial role and could have prevented the suspect from entering the establishment.
“As admitted by Lanting and indicated in the issued Licenses to Exercise Security Profession, the lady guard posted at the mall entrance and other guards deployed in RWM were not trained in mall security that could have, in one way or the other, prevented the worsening of the situation,” the PNP-SOSIA order read.
A big factor that contributed to the security lapses was the fact that the lady guard was not in uniform, it said.
“The uniform worn by the lady guard was not prescribed... [T]his office did not issue any authority for the guards of Lanting to wear special set of uniform, or barong for that matter, hence, [they were] prohibited from carrying firearm.”
PNP-SOSIA also said that the gun used by the RWM internal security to engage the suspect was only borrowed from one of the Lanting guards.
“One of the security guards of Lanting, when the unpleasant incident [was] taking place, lent his issued firearm to a member of the internal security of RWM who engaged the suspect in a shootout," the report read.
Overall, the PNP-SOSIA order concluded that the security provider did not have a clear security plan.
“Lanting has no security plan to ensure compliance with the prescribed security requirements of the PNP, except its deployment plan in the form of its Daily Shifting Detail Order," the PNP-SOSIA said.
The PNP-SOSIA said they are studying what sanction or case they need to file against the security provider.
“Inaalam na lang kung ano ang ikakaso, kung fine o penalty or this will result sa cancellation, kaya hinihintay namin sa kanya yung mga final documents niya," Espino said.