Lessons from Resorts World
THE recent incident of the massive deaths at the Resorts World Manila have once again brought us some lessons which are accentuated only when several people are killed.
For one, notwithstanding the fact that the gunman Jessie Carlos did not directly shoot at anyone but the ceiling only, more than 30 people died of suffocation from the smoke. The reason? Some doors were reported closed that exit was virtually impossible.
The reality is that many high-end hotels and casinos are very strict on privacy and security for their clientele that egress and ingress are very restricted. When fire occurs, the guests have difficulty finding their way out.
The Bureau of Fire Protection should have supervised fire drills at least twice a year in all residential buildings and places where people converge, inspect door lock systems and ensure that fire exits work perfectly. Laxity has become the norm and the fire bureau officials of Pasay City should be prosecuted for negligence in this Resorts World incident.
Secondly, the management of Resorts World should also be prosecuted for negligence resulting in multiple homicide. The fact that a madman with a long firearm was able to enter unchecked and unimpeded and the guests gagged to death for their inability to get out unharmed speaks more than negligence to ensure the safety of their guests.
Payment of P1 million to each family of the dead is certainly not enough. It is even an insult. Class suits should be filed against the hotel owners.
Thirdly, the easy claims of some public officials like the Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez that the “attackers are terrorists” when there is, in fact, only one gunman with a personal motive shows the lack of prudence of responsible public officials and the irresponsibility at the height of a crisis.
Public officials should be more circumspect in making public statements when they don’t have grasp yet of the facts. There should only be one spokesperson for the government and the rest should just shut their mouths to help prevent confusion and needless speculation.
Fourth, the government should have a system of immediately creating a crisis committee to oversee and coordinate all actions, hot-pursuit operations, immediate medical attention and information to the families of the victims, psychological counselling to the grieving relatives, retrieval of bodies and burial preparations, correct information dessimination, clearing up activities, detention and prosecution of criminals and responsible persons who are criminally negligent, and a final incident investigation to prevent the recurrence of a similar incident or of mitigation of damages and injuries in future similar incidents.
Fifth, there should be lessons learned in security administration and policies. There is a report that the security agency was required to surrender their high-powered firearms because the chief of the police department on security agency administration required such guns to be surrendered. There should be exceptions to that rule.
How can the guards engage in a gun fight the attacker with an automatic rifle while the guards only have caliber .38 revolvers? It’s a clear uneven fight.
Lastly, the casinos should have a fund that should finance the intelligence gathering and close monitoring of persons banned from casinos for a year to ensure that they get rehabilitated and cease from being a menace to society and to their families.
The Resorts World incident would remain a scar on the psyche of the families of the victims. The lessons learned would remain hallow if no case assessment is sincerely done in the next couple of weeks.
In the end, the lone gunman raised issues which were neglected in a long time. And the lone gunman taught us lessons which society would lose to history as we have always been complacent as a people. Very sad, indeed.