At least 36 people died after a gunman burst into a Manila casino, firing shots and setting gaming tables alight, a spokesman for the Philippine president said on Friday, in what officials believe was a botched robbery attempt. There was no evidence linking the attack at the Resorts World Manila entertainment complex to fighting between government troops and Islamist militants in the country’s south, said Ernesto Abella, a spokesman for President Rodrigo Duterte. “All indications point to a criminal act by an apparently emotionally disturbed individual”, Abella told a media conference. “Although the perpetrator gave warning shots, there apparently was no indication that he wanted to do harm or shoot anyone”.
One of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s fiercest critics is now behind bars on drug charges, marking a political escalation of his anti-crime crackdown and opening a new chapter in his heavy-handed rule. Senator Leila de Lima was arrested on the morning of February 24, symbolically the day before the 31st anniversary of the People Power Revolution which ousted another Philippine strongman, Ferdinand Marcos.