Boardroom row sparks clash of guards; 1 dead
A security guard was shot dead and two more were wounded Thursday afternoon as a longstanding dispute over the control of a commercial building turned violent at the Makati City central business district.
Superintendent Jaime Santos, Makati’s deputy police chief for administration, said a shooting incident took place around 5:30 p.m. involving private security guards employed by the groups fighting over the 38-story Burgundy Corporate Tower on Gil Puyat Avenue.
The fatality was identified as Jimmy Lagunsad, who was reportedly shot in the chest. He was pronounced dead at Makati Medical Center around 6 p.m., he said.
The alleged encounter between two security groups stemmed from a property dispute between the building’s old and newly elected board of directors.
Police earlier received reports of a hostage-taking incident at the building, with its occupants allegedly locked up inside by a group that was not immediately identified. Among the first responders was a SWAT team from the Makati police.
Nilo Santos, the new chairman of the Burgundy board, alleged that the old board led by Roger Serafica and its security agency refused to vacate the building despite a temporary restraining order (TRO) issued by Judge Joselito Villarosa of the Makati Regional Trial Court Branch 66.
He said the TRO stopped the Serafica group from performing its functions as directors.
A court sheriff arrived at Burgundy to execute the order around 3 p.m. but met resistance from an armed group in the building, Santos said.
Ben Malcontento, a lawyer for the new board of directors, claimed there was no actual exchange of gunfire and that the only shots fired came from inside the building.
“As the sheriff was about to enter the building, the security guards inside began to shoot and hit our security guard,” Malcontento said. The new board employed guards from the Sidekick and Spectrum security agencies, he added.
The lawyer said two other guards were injured and were brought to the hospital.
After the shooting, the Makati police hauled off about a hundred security guards from both sides to headquarters for questioning. They included guards armed with shotguns.
Around 8 Thursday night, about a dozen employees holed up in the building during the standoff were finally able to go out, the Inquirer learned.
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