Officials apologize to hostage taker, offer to resign

Third Anne Peralta-Malonzo

(UPDATED) Security officers of Greenhills Shopping Center and officials of Sascor Armor Security Corporation apologized to hostage taker Archie Paray and declared that they were ready to resign in a bid to put an end to the hostage crisis inside V-Mall Monday, March 2.

In response via handheld radio, Paray accused the officials of corruption. He asked members of the media to relay a question to Sascor officials, but refused to answer any questions from the media.

The officials gave their statements in front of the media while a security officer held up a mobile phone to show the proceedings via video call to Paray, more than six hours after he took some 50 people hostage inside the mall.

Asked what they were apologizing for, Sascor manager Oscar Hernandez said, "Operational issues yan, eh. Maaring sumama ang loob nya dahil may ginawa kaming rotation."

He clarified that Paray was not sacked, but was among the guards who were affected by the rotation of assignments.

Aside from Hernandez, those who issued an apology and said they were ready to resign are: Fernando Solina, head of corporate safety and security of Greenhills; Salvador Capadocia, security coordinator of Greenhills mall; Henry Tuason, field officer of Sascor; Frederick Gravador, assistant director of Sascor; and Luis Villamor, Sascor director for operations.

Greenhills security officers, who are employed by mall developer Ortigas and Company, clarified that they had nothing to do with the reported termination of Paray's employment with Sascor.

The suspect, Paray, claimed to have been fired as a security guard. He is still holding around 50 people hostage inside the administration office of V-Mall, which is part of the Greenhills Shopping Center in San Juan City, Metro Manila.

Police said Paray, 31, went to the V-Mall at 11:22 a.m. Monday and shot the mall's officer-in-charge Ronald Velita.

He then proceeded to the administration office. Velita is in stable condition at the Cardinal Santos Medical Center. He is reportedly armed with a pistol and four grenades.

The negotiation team is led by National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) Director Debold Sinas and Col. Orlando Yebra Jr., according to the Philippine National Police Anti-Kidnapping Group. (SunStar Philippines)

This is a developing story. Refresh for updates.