President Duterte has broken his silence on the Manila casino attack, saying it was not the work of the Islamic State (IS) but of a “crazy man.”
“He’s crazy. That guy is crazy,” the president said today (Saturday, June 3) echoing the earlier conclusions of police and resort management.
He added that if it had been an IS terror attack it would have been “more cruel and brutal”.
Speaking to reporters in Cagayan de Oro, the president pointed to the fact that the man stole plastic gaming chips, which would be of no value outside Resorts World Manila.
“It’s not ISIS,” he said. “Why would you steal that plastic that you know you won’t be able to use? That guy is crazy. He made sure to get the plastic chips. For what?”
He also said that despite being armed, the attacker did not appear to shoot at anybody.
“He did not want to kill. He went there, set things on fire,” he said. “That is not the work of the ISIS. The work of the ISIS is more cruel and brutal. They would simply kill people for nothing, not even for a reason.”
IS claimed responsibility for attack, just hours after it happened in the early hours of yesterday morning.
The victims appeared to have died of smoke inhalation as they hid from the gunman, who doused gaming tables and chairs with gasoline and set them ablaze. He later set himself on fire and killed himself in a hotel room at the scene.
News of the attack led many to fear that the continuing chaos in Marawi City had somehow spilled over into Manila. The clashes with members of the IS-affiliated Maute group led the president to declare martial law throughout the island of Mindanao.
The attacker has not yet been identified and investigations are continuing.