After 10 hours, the hostage crisis at V-Mall in Greenhills Shopping Center, San Juan yesterday, March 2, ended with the arrest of suspect Archie Paray. At around 8:00 p.m., he released hostages on the condition that he’d be allowed to bring a gun with him.
Part of the deal was to let him speak to the media, according to Inquirer. The former security guard claimed that guards were being fired without due process and that security officials accepted bribes from mall tenants. He said he took people hostage to reveal the alleged discrimination and corruption that had been going on since December. He said he had raised his concerns to his superiors but nothing had been done about it.
In the middle of his speech outside the mall, police officers pinned him down and seized his weapon.
Earlier, six officials from Safeguard Armor Security Corporation, Paray’s former employer, apologized and resigned as part of the negotiations, according to CNN Philippines. General Manager Oscar Hernandez, however, said Paray was not fired but was supposed to be moved to another post as part of the agency’s rotating policy.
There were 60 to 70 hostages originally, but some were able to escape the mall, San Juan Mayor Francis Zamora said in an ABS-CBN News report. There were 30 hostages left by the time the situation ended. One security guard who was shot and wounded when the situation began is now in stable condition.
Paray will be charged with frustrated murder, illegal possession of explosives, illegal possession of firearms, grave coercion, and grave threat. The San Juan mayor said they will investigate Paray’s claims.
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