DOLE to look into violations of Labor Code in V-Mall hostage drama

Marje Pelayo

SAN JUAN CITY, Philippines – Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III wants an investigation to determine if the management of Virra Mall in Greenhills and its security agency violated certain provisions of the Labor Code following the hostage taking incident involving the mall’s former security guard.

“Baka may criminal liability iyan kung totoo sinasabi ng gwardiya, (There may be some criminal liability there if there’s any truth to the guard’s claims),” Bello said.

“May criminal liability dyan pagka hindi mo ni-report ang worker mo, ang remittance ng premium. Kasi dine-deduct mo sa sweldo niya tapos hindi mo ibinibigay sa SSS, (That’s criminal liability if you do not report your worker’s remittance or premium because that is deducted from their salary and supposedly remitted to the SSS,)” he added.

Secretary Bello said they are also looking into a much deeper reason why Paray ended up taking hostages.

“We can never condone violence. But we also have to consider the responsibility of the (security) agency,” he explained.

“It could have been the root cause of this behavior. Perhaps he was forced to do that because of what the management did,” he added.

On Monday (March 2), 40-year-old Alchie Paray held hostage some 50 personnel inside the mall at around 11:00 am.

Paray complained of being unfairly treated and being a victim of ‘palakasan’ that resulted in his reassignment.

But his manning agency, Safeguard Armor Security Corporation (SASCOR) said the decision to reassign him was merely because of his weeks-long absence without leave.

The hostage drama lasted for nine hours ending with all the hostages being set free and the hostage-taker arrested. MNP (with Rey Pelayo)

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