03 June 2017

Palace reminds public vs speculation on Resorts World incident
Malacañang on Saturday, June 3, urged the public to be mindful against speculations about the incident in Resorts World Manila.

“All evidence at this point say it was an action of an emotionally disturbed person who was apparently engaged in a criminal action,” Presidential Spkesperson Ernesto Abella said, dismissing claims by international terrorist group claiming responsibility for the attack.

“We join experts like Senator and former National Police chief [Panfilo] “Ping” Lacson in urging the police, the media, and the public to please avoid speculation,” he said, adding that such speculations feed the interest of terror groups.

“They may claim credit but according to our evidence it is not so,” Abella added, as he said that the Executive department will await findings of a formal investigation, including a full audit of casinos by the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (PAGCOR).

Meanwhile, the Palace official assured the public that the government is on top of the situation in Marawi, Lanao del Sur where military operations against extremists are currently ongoing and said the Executive department is monitoring reports of the unwarranted increase in the price of rice in the area.

“An enforced price freeze on basic necessities and prime commodities in Mindanao has been declared by the President. The price freeze is implemented for a period of 60 days as indicated in the declaration,” Abella said.

He said there is no truth to reports on the increase of the price of rice.

Abella added that efforts are ongoing to normalize the services of the Department of Justice prosecutors and public attorneys to people in the affected areas.

“The Department of Justice in cooperation with the Department of National Defense airlifted from the main office to their office in Marawi equipment and supplies, photo copiers, printers and laptop computers. Itong materyales pong ito will help DoJ prosecutors who are working temporarily at the Hall of Justice of Iligan to ensure their commitment to serve the Filipino,” Abella said.

Abella reported that as of last night there have been 1,055 civilians rescued and 120 of the enemy killed.

He added that earlier Saturday morning, the AFP rescued 181 trapped civilians, including 38 teachers from two barangays in Marawi City.

The spokesman underscored the current focus of operations remains to be clearing of Marawi of militants who are still in the area, the rescue of trapped residents, recovery of civilian casualties and victims and continued assistance to civic and government relief and assistance organizations.###PND

From Presidential Spokesperson Ernie Abella – On Resorts World Manila and Martial Law
All indications in the Resorts World Manila point to a criminal act by an apparently emotionally disturbed individual.

The Philippine National Police (PNP) has conducted an initial investigation showing that the gunman did not shoot any civilian but only fired shots at LED televisions, burned gambling tables, and stole gambling chips worth P113 million, before he forcibly entered a hotel room where he burned and shot himself.

The incident in the Resorts World Manila is thus an isolated case which does not constitute rebellion or invasion, which are the grounds for the declaration of martial law as prescribed by the Constitution and which the President is sworn to abide by and protect when he took his oath of office.