Greenhills hostage taker demands to talk to fellow guards, media

Rambo Talabong
Greenhills hostage taker demands to talk to fellow guards, media

Rappler.com

(3rd UPDATE) The hostage taker, a former guard of V-Mall, was fired after going on absence without leave for weeks

MANILA, Philippines (3rd UPDATE) – The hostage taker who held dozens of people in a Greenhills mall on Monday, March 2, demanded an audience with fellow guards and the media.  

San Juan Mayor Francis Zamora disclosed the information to reporters after a first round of talks with the hostage taker himself, whom the mayor initially refused to identify at the time. (The suspect was later identified as Alchie Paray, 40.)

The Greenhills Center Management said in a statement Monday afternoon that the former guard was provided by the Safeguard Armor Security Corporation or SASCOR.

Zamora said the hostage taker wanted to at least hold a “video call” with fellow guards, then to speak with reporters in person. 

The mayor suspected that the gunman went on a rampage because he was fired after he went on absence without leave for weeks.  

Zamora was accompanied by Metro Manila police chief Major General Debold Sinas and San Juan City police chief Colonel Jimmy Santos.

The gunman held around 30 hostages, including vendors and mall employees, at the administrative office of V-Mall (Virra Mall), located at the second floor. 

Before this, Rappler had listed at least 14 hostage-taking incidents in the past 31 years. (READ: LIST: Hostage-taking incidents in the Philippines)

Crisis ends

In the early evening Monday, the superiors of the hostage taker apologized and offered to resign to appease the gunman.

In a press conference organized by cops, the 6 bosses, sitting in a row, read out prepared statements apologizing to the gunman and expressing their intention to quit their posts.

At a little past 8 am, hostages were seen walking free from inside the mall. The suspect walked out of the mall together with his hostages, and addressed the media and the crowd outside.

Twenty minutes into detailing his grievances against his employers and then suddenly addressing the mayor, the Paray was tackled by cops. They spotted a pistol tucked to his waist.

In statement sent to the media after the suspect’s arrest, the Greenhills Center Management said, “Management will also look into allegations made by the hostage taker against security agency officials who allegedly take bribes from tenants to disregard shopping mall policies.” – Rappler.com

 

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Rambo Talabong

Rambo Talabong covers the House of Representatives and local governments for Rappler. Prior to this, he covered security and crime. He was named Jaime V. Ongpin Fellow in 2019 for his reporting on President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs. In 2021, he was selected as a journalism fellow by the Fellowships at Auschwitz for the Study of Professional Ethics.