Lack of security command-and-control shows during RWM incident – PNP

MANILA-- When suspect Jessie Carlos went amuck at Resorts World Manila (RWM) last June 2, there was no designated person to handle the security situation, said Philippine National Police-Supervisory Office for Security and Investigation Agencies (PNP-SOSIA) head Chief Supt. Jose Mario Espino in a press conference on Tuesday.

Around 38 people, including Carlos were killed in the incident, with another 74 wounded in the ensuing stampede and suffocation.

Thirty seven of those killed apparently died of smoke inhalation, with the suspect opting to commit suicide.

Espino said this was the initial findings of their investigation which was convened to look into the liability of N.C. Lanting Security Specialist Agency, the firm which provided the security guards to RWM.

It was also found out that RWM has its own in-house security team tasked to guard the casino but these individuals are not covered by the PNP-SOSIA investigation.

Espino said the guards provided by N. C. Lanting Security Specialist Agency were tasked to secure fixed points in the parking area, RWM entrances and exits, with just one roving watchman for the adjoining mall area, and no provisions for a quick reaction team.

All these guards are operating alone during the time of the incident.

The PNP-SOSIA chief said the incident highlighted RWM's reliance on the police for possible emergency situations.

Espino added that a review indicated that RWM's security has no command-and-control during the incident which could give responding police officers a picture on what was happening.

"The Chief PNP (Director General Ronald 'Bato' Dela Rosa) was waiting (to know) what was happening but no one could tell him immediately. There was no ground commander, he stressed.

Espino added that Dela Rosa was told that everybody was evacuated but later events showed that many people, almost all of the fatalities, were left behind.

He also reminded malls and hotels not to cut down on their security detail.

Espino said security guards should always "operate on a buddy system or in pairs.

Source: Philippines News Agency