DOLE draws fire from solon for inaction on hostage-taker’s complaints
MANILA, Philippines — The chairman of the House panel that is deliberating labor issues has chided the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) for failing to act upon the labor issues raised by security guard-turned-hostage-taker Alchie Paray.
Last week, Paray held at least 50 individuals hostage so that he would be given the chance to air out his grievances against his former employers, whom he accused of corruption and unfair labor practices.
During a hearing on Tuesday, DOLE-NCR San Juan Field Office chief Director Mary Grace Riguer-Teodoro admitted that they have yet to talk to Paray to verify his allegations against his former employers.
“No. I think he is already in custody, we have no access to the hostage-taker,” Riguer-Teodoro said when asked if they were able to speak with Paray.
This struck a nerve of panel chair 1-Pacman Rep. Enrico Pineda, noting that Paray felt compelled to take hostages because of labor matters such as being removed from his post, which he held for two years, and for not allowing entry to a tenant because he was not wearing an ID.
The former security guard claimed that the tenant threatened him that he will not last long in his job. Further, the tenant allegedly bribed Paray’s supervisors P5,000 so that he would be reassigned.
“Dapat diyan, kinausap niyo na kasi yung tao was airing concerns, di ba,against his employers? ‘Yun ang gusto naming malaman dito,” he told the DOLE representative.
“So kung wala pala kayong masasabi sakin tungkol dito, bakti pa kayo nandito? You’re not doing your job,” he added.
Pineda also pointed out that the absence of officials from Paray’s employer, SASCOR Armor Security Corp., during the hearing could mean that they are “hiding something.”
“Ayaw nilang magpunta rito, may tinatago. Kaya kayo, you’re DOLE, you’re the lead department when it comes to labor issues, dapat you’re on top of this. You should not be reactive, you should be proactive,” the party-list lawmaker said.
Teodoro assured that DOLE has taken action on Paray’s claims and launched an investigation of his employer, SASCOR Armor Security Corp.
DOLE had found that the firm violated several labor laws such as underpaying employees’ night differential pay, and failing to pay rest-day premiums, Teodoro revealed.
She added that the firm already came to their office and “promised to check their payroll for compliance.”
Paray faces charges of frustrated murder, illegal detention, illegal possession of explosives, illegal possession of firearms and illegal possession of a bladed weapon for his actions last week on the hostage-taking incident.
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