Editorial: Redress at any cost

NOT much is known about Archie Paray except that he is a former security guard at V-Mall in Greenhills Center in San Juan, Metro Manila.

News reports have nothing about his personal life. The public does not if he’s married. Or if he has any children. However, judging by his recent actions, it seems Paray is a man of conviction.

According to him, he lost his job because he refused to go along with the corruption that is allegedly pervasive in the mall and among his fellow guards and officials of Sascor Armory Security Corp., the security agency that used to employ him.

Paray accused his former supervisors of receiving P5,000 from some tenants, referring to the system that allows some tenants to use “selected entrances” to the mall for a fee.

On Monday morning, March 2, 2020, Paray entered his former place of work and held 60 to 70 people hostage inside the mall’s administration office.

He reportedly “encouraged his former colleagues to join him in sort of a mutiny against his former employers, but none of them joined him.”

It was a gamble that might or might not have paid off. Even though he failed to get their sympathy, he managed to get the security officers of Greenhills Shopping Center and Sascor officials to apologize to him and to declare that they were ready to resign to put an end to the hostage crisis.

Sascor manager Oscar Hernandez, when asked what they were apologizing for, said in Tagalog, “Maybe Paray was slighted when he was affected by the rotation of assignments.”

If that were the case, then Paray shouldn’t have gone to such lengths to demand redress. But he did. And in the process, he risked his life and the lives of countless others and forfeited his liberty.

So perhaps, Paray was telling the truth after all.