Workers group urges probe into disgruntled guard\'s allegations vs security agency

Workers group urges probe into disgruntled guard\\\'s allegations vs security agency
Archie Paray was allowed to speak to members of the media after he released the dozens of people he held hostage.
The STAR / Michael Varcas

MANILA, Philippines — A labor group called on the government to look into issues raised by a disgruntled security guard who held hostage dozens of people at a mall on Monday.

Thadeus Ifurung, Defend Jobs Philippines spokesperson, urged Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III and San Juan City Mayor Francis Zamora to look into and shed light on Alchie Paray’s grievances.

In a statement, Ifurung stressed that the workers’ group does not condone Paray’s act of hostage taking, but it called on an investigation into “the alleged mishandling of the security agency and the Greenhills management to their personnel and supposed corruption in the company, alleged illegal termination and inhumane working conditions inside their workplaces.”

The incident lasted 10 hours, with one guard shot and at least 30 people, mostly employees and vendors of Greenhills shopping center, held hostage by Paray, who is a former Safeguard Armor Security Corportation (SASCOR) security guard.

Bello, in a phone patch interview with CNN Philippines, said he has already directed Labor Undersecretary Ana Dione and DOLE’s NCR to “immediately inspect that [security] agency.” The investigation will also cover the "whole mall management, including occupationala and health standards," Bello said.

Corruption of management?

Paray was armed with a gun and grenades, said Zamora who served as one of the negotiators. “He was upset after he was fired from his job. He wanted to get the other guards to join him for some sort of coup against the mall management,” the San Juan City mayor also said.

Fernando Solina, head of Greenhills corporate safety, clarified that Paray was not sacked, but was affected by a rotation of shift. Paray was dismayed that he had to be transferred to another post, Solina said.

In a video call aired in public by security officials of Greenhills shopping center, Paray accused SASCOR officials of corruption.

The officials of the security agency resigned from their posts yesterday and apologized to Paray.

After the hostages were released, Paray spoke to the members of the media covering the incident—reportedly one of his demands.

He was tackled to the ground and eventually arrested.

Ifurung, however, stressed that Paray's rights should not be upheld in detention.

“No rights must be violated and proper humane handling must be observed during the process of the suspect’s detention,” he said.

He added: “We stand firm that fair trial must be done for him and proper psychosocial and post-traumatic interventions must be conducted for both the hostage-taker and his hostages in the soonest possible time.” — Kristine Joy Patag with reports from The STAR/Neil Jayson Servallos




As It Happens
LATEST UPDATE: March 3, 2020 - 11:14am

Police are clearing an area of the Greenhills Shopping Center in San Juan, where a shooting incident and hostage situation has been reported.

Radio dzBB reports at least 20 people are being held hostage at the V-Mall.

Police have yet to give a statement on the incident although dzBB's Mark Makalalad reports Police Brig. Gen. Debold Sinas, director of the National Capital Region Police Office, is already on scene.

March 3, 2020 - 11:14am

Greenhills Mall in San Juan City reopens a day after a hostage-taking incident involving at least 30 mall employees.

"Management will be implementing policy adjustments to ensure the safety and security of our employees, tenants and loyal patrons," the management said in a statement Tuesday.

March 2, 2020 - 8:25pm

The Greenhills hostage-taker has come out and had released his hostages 10 hours after the incident started.

He is now talking to media about alleged corruption in the shopping center.

March 2, 2020 - 7:53pm

V-Mall security guards are in formation as alleged Greenhills hostage-taker Archie Paray is believed to be about to come down after negotiations with San Juan Mayor Francis Zamora.

March 2, 2020 - 7:30pm

San Juan Mayor Zamora assures alleged hostage-taker Archie Paray that he will be safe if he puts down his weapon and comes down.

"Masasayang lang ang effort na ginagawa nilang lahat kung ganyan siya parang gusto niya siya masunod," Paray is heard saying over the radio.

March 2, 2020 - 2:25pm

Greenhills Center management confirms a former security guard took hostage of some mall employees.

Another security guard was injured during the ongoing incident but has been brought to the hospital.

"Our priority right now is to ensure the safety of the employees, and of the public. The management is working closely and coordinating with the authorities," the management said in a statement Monday afternoon.

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