Greenhills hostage taker refused P1M: ‘He needed to be heard’

Rambo Talabong
'Hindi niya tinanggap kasi hindi pera ang kailangan niya eh. Ang kailangan niya marinig lang yung hinaing,' says San Juan Mayor Francis Zamora

DEMANDS. Hostage taker Alchie Paray talks to media and onlookers after releasing his hostages at the V-Mall in San Juan on March 2, 2020. Photo by Lisa Marie David/Rappler

MANILA, Philippines – Alchie Paray, the sacked security guard who held 55 people hostage in the Greenhills Shopping Center Monday, March 2, refused a settlement money of P1 million offered to him during the crisis by his former employers who angered him.

According to San Juan Mayor Francis Zamora, all Paray wanted was to be heard.

Hindi niya tinanggap kasi hindi pera ang kailangan niya eh. Ang kailangan niya marinig lang yung hinaing (He did not accept it because he did not need money. He needed to be heard),” Zamora said on Tuesday, March 3, in a press briefing about the incident.

Zamora was part of the negotiating team which talked to Paray. The agitated security gaurd went on a rampage because of alleged unfair labor practices under his bosses at the Greenhills Shopping Center and the Safeguard Armor Security Corporation (SASCOR) security agency.

Paray also accused his bosses of tolerating corruption in the shopping hot spot. He said guards routinely accepted bribe money from tenants in exchange for lax enforcement of the establishment’s rules.

“He needed attention and [an] outlet. That’s not difficult to give to save lives,” said Major General Debold Sinas in the same press conference.

Aside from speaking with fellow guards at Greenhills and forcing his bosses to apologize and resign, Paray demanded to speak with the media. This was granted after his surrender at past 8 pm on Monday, when he was allowed to speak for around 20 minutes before being tackled and arrested by cops.

Zamora  earlier said that San Juan would probe the alleged “corrupt practices“, and said that he would request management of the Greenhills Shopping Center for a “total overhaul” of their security system. – Rappler.com

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.