How the Greenhills hostage-taking unfolded | Inquirer News
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How the Greenhills hostage-taking unfolded

By: - Reporter / @DYGalvezINQ
/ 11:57 PM March 02, 2020

SAN JUAN CITY, Philippines — On a dreary Monday morning, a former security guard decided to disrupt the operations of a popular mall in Greenhills and hold several individuals at gunpoint.

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Around 10 a.m., hostage-taker Alchie Paray, who was armed with a pistol and also carried a grenade, went inside the mall and took hostage 60 to 70 persons (initially it was around 30 individuals), most of whom are mall employees.

READ: BREAKING: Hostage situation taking place at San Juan City mall

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On his way inside the mall, he also shot the mall’s head of security, Ronald Velita, his superior. Velita was rushed to the Cardinal Santos Medical Center and his condition is now stable.

Paray held the hostages at the office of the mall’s administration, which was located on the second floor. Employees and mall-goers alike were evacuated as the mall was placed on lockdown.

READ: 1 hurt as sacked security guard takes dozens of people hostage in Greenhills mall

The hostage-taker was reportedly disgruntled, having been sacked from his job. According to San Juan City Mayor Francis Zamora, he went AWOL (absent without leave) for weeks.

Paray had several demands: He wanted to speak with his fellow security guards and as well as the media who was covering the hostage-taking via video call.

According to Eastern Police District (EPD) Deputy Director for Operations Orland Yebra, Paray had wanted to make two of his superiors eat P2,500 worth of cash but had agreed not to push through with it.

READ: Talks go on as dozens remain captive by ex-security guard in Greenhills mall

At around 6 p.m., six of Paray’s superiors — security officials of the mall and SASCOR Armor Security Agency — faced the media to publicly apologize to the suspect and announce that they had filed their resignation in an effort to appease Paray and de-escalate the tension.

READ: Giving in to captor’s pleas: Greenhills mall security officials resign, apologize

One of the officials, SASCOR General Manager Oscar Hernandez denied that Paray was fired but was instead relocated as part of the “rotation” of security personnel.

“Maaring sumama ang loob niya dahil may ginawa kaming rotation. Kinakailangan ang security may rotation to avoid familiarity of the guards,” Hernandez said.

[His feelings may have been hurt because we implemented a rotation. Rotations are needed in security personnel so as to avoid familiarity of the guards.[

“Hindi siya sinibak, nilipat lang siya ng pwesto para ma-implement namin ‘yung rotation,” he added.

[He wasn’t fired. He was just relocated so that we could implement the rotation.]

At around 7:15 p.m., Zamora directly spoke to Paray via phone call. He negotiated with the hostage-taker, appealing to him that he leave his pistol and his grenade behind as he exits the building.

Paray was apprehensive in leaving his firearms behind, but he had agreed that he would release all hostages. As part of a compromise, Paray agreed to leave his grenade behind but not his pistol.

Zamora also assured him of his safety.

“Kailangan iiwan mo ang baril mo at granada. Hindi pwedeng bababa ka na may granada. Pero ginagarantiya ko yung kaligtasan mo,” he said.

[You have to leave behind your gun and grenades. You can’t come with the grenades. But I guarantee your safety.]

“Lahat ng hostages bababa. Walang maiiwan,” Zamora asked Paray.

[All the hostages will come down. Nobody will be left behind.]

READ: Greenhills mall hostages released

https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/1235891/greenhills-mall-hostages-released

At around 8:15 p.m., the unscathed hostages, whose fear is apparent on their faces, started trickling outside the mall. Paray also exited the mall along with the hostages.

https://twitter.com/DYGalvezINQ/status/1234453658734981120?s=20

Shortly after the release of the hostages, Paray faced the media and authorities and made his sentiments known.

He alleged that there was corruption among the security officials, who he said take bribes from mall tenants.

Paray also said that security guards are being sacked without any explanation and investigation. He claimed that normally, there was no rotation scheme implemented among the mall’s security personnel as he has been in his post for about two years.

He alleged that the scheme was only a “strategy” implemented by his superiors to “protect” mall tenants.

“Marami ritong kagaguhan na hindi nabibigyan ng pansin kaya ko naisipan ito na mag-hostage kasi itong sitwasyon na ito, December pa ito,” Paray said.

[There are many shenanigans that have not been noticed. That’s why I thought of taking people hostage. This situation has been going on since December.]

“Dumating sa punto na kailangan na nila maglaglag ng gwardiya na nagtatrabaho para lang protektahan ‘yung mga tenant nila,” he added.

[It came to point that they had to lay off working guard just to protect their tenants.]

“Hopefully, sana maging aral ito, hindi lang sa establishment na ito pero kahit saan na may nagtatrabaho, lahat tayo diyan ay importante,” he went on. “Sa lahat ng management, magrespetuhan tayo. Huwag tayo mismo ‘yung hahamak sa mga kasama natin.”

[Hopefully, this would serve as a lesson, not only for this establishment but anywhere where there are people working. We are all important. To all management, let’s respect each other. Let’s not put down our own colleagues.]

Paray also admitted that before conducting the hostage-taking, he was aware of the consequences of his actions.

He said he was willing to be shot in front of the media. Paray also confronted Zamora on where he would be taken after the incident, jail or the cemetery.

His address to the public was cut short when police and members of the Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) team pinned him down and seized his pistol from him.

After that, he was brought to the San Juan Police Station where he will face several criminal charges.

READ: Greenhills hostage-taker arrested

FULL VIDEO

LIVE: Greenhills Hostage crisis

Posted by INQUIRER.net on Monday, March 2, 2020

LIVE: Greenhills hostage crisis

Posted by INQUIRER.net on Monday, March 2, 2020

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