By Jaimie Rose Aberia
Manila’s hotels and casinos have completed bomb threat and bomb response exercises and are set to undergo active shooter exercises next week, Manila Police District (MPD) director Chief Supt. Joel Coronel said.
With the primary goal of saving lives in emergency situations, at least seven hotels such as Manila Hotel and Diamond Hotel and casinos operated by the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (Pagcor) would take part in the active shooter exercises, according to Coronel.
“We will be having a seminar first, then contingency planning with the establishments’ security officers,” Coronel said. After that, we would be conducting the simulation drills, where we would act out different scenarios such as active shooter incident and teach everyone how to properly react or deal with it, he added.
An “active shooter” is an individual actively engaged in killing or attempting to kill people in a confined and populated area. In most cases, active shooters use firearms and there is no pattern or method to their selection of victims, Coronel explained.
Coronel said active shooter cases are normally unpredictable and evolve quickly and that the public and security officers must be prepared mentally and physically to deal with the situation before the arrival of law enforcers.
“After the Resorts World incident, I’m sure all police stations in Metro Manila are in full alert. We’ve learned lessons from that incident so we should adapt and change,” he pointed out.
Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada said this kind of drill would better prepare private security officers, police, and especially the public in the event of armed assaults or “active shooter” scenarios similar to what happened at RW where a lone gunman went on a shooting rampage and set the casino on fire.
We have learned lessons from the Resorts World incident. We would use those lessons to further train our police and other emergency services and the security units of private business establishments to prevent such incidents in the future, he said.
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