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Gov’t denies IS claim

Malacañang yesterday allayed fears that the Resorts World Manila incident last Friday was an act of terrorism by the Islamic State.

ISIS has claimed responsibility over the incident caused by a lone gunman and killed 37 people due to suffocation.

“They can always claim what they want to claim in their website, which they are in full control of,” Abella said during the fourth Mindanao Hour press briefing over Radyo ng Bayan yesterday morning.

“They have this reputation of claiming all atrocities all over the world to perpetuate themselves to gain global popularity and to show that their influence is all over,” he added.

“However, there is no truth that the incident was a terror act. According to our evidence, the incident is a local peace and order concern,” Abella said.

The Palace official discouraged the police, media, and netizens from making speculations about the incident.

“We’d like to first and foremost clarify that we are joined by the chief of experts, with Sen. and former National Police chief Ping Lacson, in urging the police, the media, and the public to please avoid speculations,” he said.

“It may grab the headlines, in Facebook likes, to spin the Resorts World tragedy as terrorism but it only feeds the purpose of these groups,” he added.

Abella also urged the public to let the authorities finish their investigation on the alleged security lapses of Resorts World Manila.

“Let us allow authorities to finish the investigation, and look into the security breach of Resorts World Manila,” he said.

“Once the investigation is completed, they will submit their findings and recommendations,” he added.

Malacañang welcomed the statement of the US State Department expressing condolences to the loved ones of those who died in the incident.

“We offer our deepest condolences to the loved ones and friends of those who were killed at Resorts World Manila early June 1. We hope for a speedy recovery to those who were injured,” Abella said, citing the US State Department statement.

“In the face of this tragedy, the United States proudly stands with the people of the Philippines and will continue to support efforts to achieve peace, security, and prosperity for their country,” the statement said.
(Argyll Cyrus B. Geducos)