World

Casino assailant motivated by gambling debts, not terrorism

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 the city motivated by heavy gambling debts and not terrorism, police said yesterday.

The identification of the assailant Jessie Javier Carlos, a Catholic, proves that claims by the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria that it was responsible for last Friday's attack were false, Manila police chief Oscar Albayalde told reporters.

"We reiterate that this is not an act of terrorism but this incident is confined to the act of one man alone," Mr Albayalde said, as he sat alongside Carlos' parents and wife at a press conference held to announce the identity of the attacker.

Mr Albayalde said Carlos, aged 43, had three children and had been banned from all casinos in April by the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation 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," Mr Albayade said.

At yesterday's press conference, Carlos' tearful mother said he had been a good man who committed the violence because of his gambling addiction.

Said Mrs Teodora Carlos: "We ask for forgiveness. My son was a good child to us.

"But since he started playing at the casinos, that's all he did. He did not visit us. It was painful for us not to see him." - AFP

GamblingGun ViolenceManila