Greenhills hostage taker undergoes inquest

Third Anne Peralta-Malonzo

ALCHIE Paray, the former security guard who took 55 people hostage in the Greenhills Mall, underwent an inquest hearing before the San Juan City Prosecutor's Office Wednesday, March 4.

Paray was charged with frustrated murder, serious illegal detention and illegal possession of firearms and explosives, according to San Juan City Police Chief Jaime Santos.

In a video clip that Colonel Santos sent to the media Wednesday, Paray denied speculation that police had planted illegal drugs on his person.

“Sa akin mismo ako magsasabi maaaring misinterpret nila or mislooking ang totoo nun kinabitan lang ako ng posas ang daming search ginawa sa akin wala naman po droga na involve sa kaso ko,” Paray said when asked by Santos in a video clip sent to reporters.

"Sa katunayan kakagagaling lang sa inquest proceeding yung ang sinampa sa akin walang nakasampang reklamo sa akin illegal possesion of illegal drugs naiintindihan ko naman,” he added.

A video clip showing a police officer taking out an object from his pocket, which netizens assumed to be illegal drugs that were planted on Paray, was circulated on social media.

Paray had tested negative for illegal drugs.

Major General Debold Sinas, National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) chief, confirmed Paray's statement that a policeman was pulling out handcuffs from his pocket.

“He pulled out his handcuff and tried to give it to the arresting officers. It was his intuition to lend a hand to his fellow police officers who were apprehending the resistant suspect,” Sinas said in a statement.

He urged the public not to be misled and misinformed on the incident.

“Let us not get our countrymen misled and misinformed. We have no other intention that night but to pacify the crisis, to rescue the victims and apprehend the suspect safely,” said Sinas.

“No untoward incident happened to him last (Monday) night while he was under the custody of San Juan City Police Station as I have visited him yesterday (Tuesday). He will be safe and properly investigated, the public can be assured of that,” he added.

Paray stormed the V-Mall in Greenhills at around 10 a.m. Monday, March 2, 2020, shot mall officer-in-charge Ronald Beleta and took 55 people hostage inside the mall's administrative office.

The ordeal lasted about 10 hours. Paray agreed to surrender and release the hostages after authorities acceded to his demands to speak with the media and his fellow security guards.

Paray complained of unfair treatment by his employer, Sascor Armor Security Corporation, and the security officials of the mall.

He also accused his superiors of corruption. (SunStar Philippines)