MANILA - Families of several fatalities in the June 2 attack in Resorts World is asking the entertainment complex's management for higher compensatory damages, the Public Attorney's Office said Monday.
"Maliit po yung offer. Naliliitan po yung mga kaanak dahil cinompute po namin yung life expectancy…napaka-liit po yung offer, wala pa pong 50 percent," said PAO chief Atty. Persida Acosta, representing 10 of the bereaved families.
(The offer was small. The families thought it was small because we computed the life expectancy...The offer was really small, not even 50 percent.)
"Sana po naman, kung nagmo-monitor sa inyo si Mr. Andrew Tan, i-settle na lang niya ito kaysa bakbakan pa sa korte," she added, addressing one of its owners.
(We hope that if Mr. Andrew Tan is monitoring you, he settles this instead of battle in the court.)
"Ang punto dyan, ayusin na nila yung danyos diyan, talaga namang may damages dyan eh," adding that ACRA Law, which represents the casino, had said it will convince its client to settle the bill so that they may continue its operation.
(The point is, they should settle the damages because there really were damages there.)
A gunman, identified as former government employee Jessie Carlos, on June 2 set fire to gambling tables and tried to steal casino chips at Resorts World Manila.
A total of 37 people, composed of guests and employees, died of suffocation in the arson attack. Carlos later set himself on fire and shot himself in the head.
Acosta said some of their clients have already manifested intent to pursue criminal charges against the casino's management, but they are awaiting the police and the fire department's report on the incident.
While she lauded Resorts World Manila's offer of P1 million per family immediately after the victims were identified, Acosta urged that the damages paid to her clients be raised.
She explained that Supreme Court decisions have computed the damages due to a person by looking at his lifespan vis-a-vis his current living wage.
She added the High Tribunal had been "very liberal" towards the company and even allowed that the living expenses be subtracted from the total.
However, in the case of the Resorts World Manila victims, they factored in "moral and exemplary damages."
"Siyempre, may agony yung mga tao. Biruin mo, may kausap lang sa phone nagpapa-rescue, walang mag-rescue. Matinding epekto sa utak at sa emosyon ng ating mga kababayang namatayan," she said.
(Of course, there's agony for the people. Imagine, one was just talking on the phone asking for rescue, but none came. That had grave effects on the minds and emotions of our bereaved countrymen.)
"Kung nagmo-monitor ang Resorts World—balita namin, nag-operate; di namin malaman paanong nabuksan yan—ang punto doon ay panagutan nila yung dapat nilang panagutan. Ganiyan talaga, kasama sa negosyo yan—kung may kapabayaan ang empleyado niyo, pananagutan niyo talaga ang mga kapabayaan at resulta na danyos ng inyong empleyado," she said.
(If Resorts World is monitoring—there's news they have resumed operations; we don't know how that happened—the point is they should take responsibility. That's how business works—if your employee was negligent, you take responsibility for that neglect and the resulting damages.)