Girl in viral #Amalayer video speaks up

(Updated 11:31 p.m., 14 November 2012)

In the old days, an impatient commuter losing her cool and berating a security guard would only have attracted a small crowd. In the technology age, the crowd for such a mundane incident can be a large global audience of social media users and TV viewers. A cellphone video of a passenger scolding a guard at the Light Railway Transit (LRT) Santolan station went viral on Facebook Tuesday night, getting more than 68,000 shares and 17,000 comments, and aired on TV networks. The hashtag #AMALAYER, which came from the passenger's pronunciation of "I'm a liar," even trended on Twitter, both worldwide and in the Philippines. In a video sent by YouScooper Gregory Paulo Llamoso, passenger Paula Jamie Salvosa was seen giving a female security guard a tongue-lashing. “I’m a liar? I’m a liar?” Salvosa yelled. Reached by GMA News, Salvosa said she is willing to resolve the issue with the security guard, though it was the lady guard who first raised her voice. "Sabi n'ya sa 'kin, sumigaw, 'Miss, anong problema mo?' Sabi ko sa kanya, you are my problem!" she said. Salvosa added that the guard, identified as Sharon Mae Casinas, grabbed her arm. "Sabi ko, bakit? You have no right to drag me! Nagagalit ako kasi she grabbed me!" Salvosa said she would not have reacted that way if the guard had treated her well. For her part, Casinas said she asked the woman to put her bag through the X-ray machine for proper inspection. However, Salvosa began raising her voice. Casinas, on the other hand, said she remained calm despite the humiliation. "Nagkulong po [ako] sa kwarto sa sobrang kahihiyan," she added. Meanwhile, Salvosa said she is a victim of cyberbullying. She also denied that she owns the Twitter account @paulaharlow, as she has already deactivated her Twitter and Facebook accounts. "I want to be an example na may karapatan naman tayo. Cyberbullying ito," she said. Side comments and facial expressions In a news release, the Rail Transit Authority (LRTA) explained that Casinas was merely performing her duties as she requested Salvosa to put her bag through an x-ray machine. But the latter somehow missed the procedure and hurriedly tried to enter the station. LRTA Officer-in-Charge Emerson L. Benitez said that their security personnel are instructed to strictly implement the “No inspection, No entry” policy. The rule ensures the safety and security of passengers. Benitez admitted that this may inconvenience passengers. Therefore, security personnel have been instructed to “refrain from making side comments and facial expressions that may be offensive to our passengers.” Also, all LRT security personnel have undergone a seminar on Quality Customer Service Delivery before their deployment and are given refresher courses semi-annually. “Ms. Casinas displayed the right attitude expected of a security guard,” said the LRTA, “that is, to be courteous and tolerant in spite of the embarrassment.” Regardless, Casinas apologized for whatever action that she had committed deemed offensive by Salvosa, said the LRTA news release. — BM/DVM, GMA News

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