Disgruntled guard holds 50 people hostage in mall

Third Anne Peralta-Malonzo

(UPDATED) A former security guard who was recently fired is holding hostage around 50 people inside the V-Mall in Greenhills, San Juan Monday, March 2.

A police report said the disgruntled security guard, identified as Archie Paray, went inside the V-Mall at 11:22 a.m. Monday and shot the mall's officer-in-charge Ronald Velita, who was rushed to the Cardinal Santos Memorial Medical Center.

Paray then proceeded to the administration office on the second floor and took hostage around 50 people, as he complained about "di pantay-pantay na pagtrato" (unfair treatment.

A tenant of the mall, formerly known as Virra Mall, said they scampered for safety after hearing three gunshots. All tenants, employees and shoppers were asked to vacate the building and the mall was placed on lockdown.

San Juan Mayor Francis Zamora, who went inside the mall, told reporters that Velita, the mall employee who was shot, is in stable condition.

The hostage taker has made two demands: that he be allowed to talk with the other security guards assigned to the mall; and that he be allowed to speak with the media.

"Masama ang kanyang loob sapagkat siya ay tinanggal bilang guwardiya. Nagdesisyon s'ya kanina na pumunta dito sa shopping center. Una, hinihikayat n'ya ang ibang guwardiya na sumama sa kanya ngunit walang sumama," Zamora said.

(He is upset because he was fired. He decided to go to the shopping center this morning. At first, he tried to convince the other security guards to join him, but nobody responded to his call.)

"Ang kanyang demands (ay) una, gusto n'yang makausap ang mga kapwa n'ya guwardiya na nagtratrabaho dito sa shopping center. At pangalawa, gusto n'yang makaharap din ang media. Pero sa ngayon ay meron na tayong negotiator na kumakausap sa kanya," he added.

(He demanded that he be allowed to speak with his fellow security guards and speak with the media. As of now, a negotiator is speaking with him.)

Both National Capital Region Police Office Director Debold Sinas and San Juan police chief Jaime Santos are inside the mall. Members of the Special Weapons and Tactics (Swat) in full uniform have also gone inside.

Police outside the mall have cordoned off the area.

This is a developing story. Refresh for updates.