A popular tourist destination in the Philippines became the scene of chaos and confusion on June 1, as conflicting reports emerged of an attack on Resorts World Manila.
In the aftermath of the attack, Philippines police refuted Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) claims of responsibility. Days later police disclosed that a lone gunman with a gambling debt was responsible for the incident which left at least 36 people dead, many from smoke inhalation caused by fire.
RT Digital verified video surfacing on social media as the event unfolded.
Searching location keywords, we discovered the below video on Facebook that carried the description ”I live right behind Resorts World and this is happening right now.”
Gun shots at resortsworld. Stay away from this area! Please be safe everyone UPDATE: (June 3, 2017) To all my family…www.facebook.com
A distinctive roof and window pattern seen in the video matched the Maxims Hotel building adjacent to Resorts World Manila. Using Google Maps, we corroborated the uploader’s location as being nearby the casino.
Other eyewitness content filmed closer to the scene was found on Facebook, including the below video claiming to be taken from outside Resorts World Manila. In the video people are seen running from what we verified as being the resort.
Vince Manuel Romero Catacutan posted a video to his Timeline.www.facebook.com
Several identifying features in the video allowed us to verify the exact location the video was filmed, including the distinctive McDonald’s logo visible in the windows at the end of the video.
We contacted the uploader, who opened dialogue with us but asked to remain anonymous.
The uploader provided RTDD with a number of images, claiming they were taken at the location as the incident unfolded. Below is one of those images.
Another video posted to Facebook — found through native keyword searches — was taken meters from the location of the previous video. It showed a similar scene of people fleeing from the building.
RTTD verified the location using Google Maps. We identified the distinctive Resort World sign seen illuminated in the video. Parking lot details seen in Google Street View also helped verify the location.
Efforts to engage with social media users on-the-ground in Manila established a clear picture from around and within the building where the event was unfolding.