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Friday , February 28 2020

‘Attacker gambling addict, not terrorist’

Employees of Resorts World Manila Casino and Shopping mall pray at the memorial for the victims of the deadly attack by a lone gunman on June 4 in suburban Pasay city, southeast of Manila, Philippines. (AP)

MANILA: An armed man who killed 37 people when he set fire to a casino in the Philippine capital was a father-of-three from Manila motivated by heavy gambling debts and not terrorism, authorities said Sunday. The identification of the attacker as Jessie Javier Carlos, a Catholic, proves that claims of responsibility by the Islamic State group for Friday’s attack were false, President Rodrigo Duterte and police said. “I would call him a habitual gambler. He lost everything in his life and became crazy. He lost his mind. He vented his anger (through the incident),” Duterte told reporters on Sunday. “It’s not terrorism.”

Manila police chief Oscar Albayalde said Carlos, 43, had three children and had been banned from all casinos in April by the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (Pagcor) following a request from his family because of his gambling addiction. “He is heavily indebted due to being hooked to casino gambling. This became the cause of misunderstanding with his wife and parents,” Albayalde said as he sat alongside Carlos’s parents and wife at a press conference announcing the gunman’s identity.

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