21 June 2017, List of security/fire failures, Resorts World Manila attack (updated from 20 June)

20 June, 2017 Security

Below is a list of security/fire failures regarding the 2 June 2017 active shooter assault on the Resorts World Manila (RWM) complex – specifically, the Maxims Hotel and the casino attached to it. These issues were identified by Philippine lawmakers,* RWM staff, the Manila Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP), and Muir Analytics. They are arranged by major category. This is by no means the final analysis, and hoteliers, security specialists, liabilities lawyers, and insurers are urged to continue to refine this list as more pertinent information becomes available.

*Official hearings, Wednesday, 7 June 2017, held at NAIA-3, the Committee on Public Order and Safety, and the Committee on Games and Amusement.

It should be noted that, despite the many failures listed here, RWM security did successfully evacuate over 12,000 guests through 13 exits during the turmoil. This demonstrates the guard force did have some cohesive emergency procedures in place, and it did exercise a high degree of competence and good leadership regarding this specific issue.

Additionally, despite lacking close quarters battle (CQB) training, the armed RWM force did manage to engage and wound the attacking gunman, which greatly contributed to the eventual endgame of this scenario, messy as it was. In doing so, these security personnel demonstrated a degree of bravery, which should be recognized.

Finally, it should be mentioned that RWM stated on 2 June that it would offer the victims’ families “full support and assistance.” Most hotel brands would not have offered such support. This is a rare occurrence, and a positive one. For a fuller brief on this subject, see the “Features” section of the SecureHotel website.


Inadequate personnel/training

(PAGCOR said that, overall, RWM did not have adequate, competent, and properly equipped security personnel – Muir Analytics would caution that the successful evacuation of over 12,000 guests demonstrated at least some level of competence and effectiveness, and a total lambasting of RWM is too broad.)

Physical security program

(Including security resource allocation and crisis response.)

Situational awareness/command and control (C2)

(Entire facility has 2,500 CCTV cameras.)

Fire safety

*The gunman placed a bag of bullets on one of the tables he set fire to, apparently so they would explode and make it seem as if there was more than one gunman. A post attack review said as many as 300 rounds exploded, which certainly would have achieved this effect. CCTV coverage of this tactical issue, however, could have disproven the multiple-shooter assumption, which could have then lead to lives being saved.

Sources and further reading:

House panel questions Resorts World Manila security chief over ‘fake name’,” GMA News, 21 June 2017.

PAGCOR to be ‘very strict’ on Resorts World security,” ABS-CBN News, 15 June 2017.

More security lapses uncovered as House probes Resorts World attack,” Rappler, 14 June 2017.

‘300 rounds’ of gunfire during Resorts World attack,” Rappler, 14 June 2017.

3 questions answered at House probe into Resorts World attack,” Rappler, 8 June 2017.

Fariñas defends questioning Resorts World security chief on college degree,” ABS-CBN News, 8 June 2017.

200 personnel vs 1 gunman: Resorts World security chief grilled,” ABS-CBN News, 7 June 2017.

Alvarez insists Resorts World Manila attack an ‘act of terrorism’,” GMA News, 7 June 2017.

Eye in the sky: Cops unaware of 2nd CCTV room in Resorts World,” ABS-CBN News, 7 June 2017.

Families of casino attack victims eye class suit,” The Philippine Star, 7 June 2017.

House starts probe into Resorts World attack,” Rappler, 7 June 2017.

House to clip PAGCOR powers after Resorts World attack,” Rappler, 7 June 2017.

PAGCOR: Resorts World Manila didn’t comply with security advisory before attack,” GMA News, 7 June 2017.

People died in RWM fire because gunfight prevented them from fleeing,” Inquierer.net, 7 June 2017.

PNP identifies negligence of security personnel in Resorts World Manila attack,” UNTV News, 7 June 2017.

Resorts World fire victims ‘2 meters away’ from exit – Fariñas,” Rappler, 7 June 2017.

Resorts World Manila admits lapses in security,” ABS-CBN News, 7 June 2017.

Resorts World Manila security chief grilled during House probe,” GMA News, 7 June 2017.

Security chief lied about college degree,” The Manila Times, 7 June 2017.

Why steal chips from a casino? Expert explains gambling currency,” ABS-CBN News, 7 June 2017.

Militant labor group: Abolish contractualization of security guards,” GMA News, 6 June 2017.

Resorts World sprinklers worked but were not enough says BFP,” Rappler, 6 June 2017.

Resorts World Manila confirms 35 dead, denies security lapse,” Rappler, 2 June 2017.

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