Zamora pushes for 'total overhaul' of Greenhills security system

Third Anne Peralta-Malonzo

SAN Juan City Mayor Francis Zamora said on Tuesday, March 3, that he will demand from the management of Greenhills Mall a “total overhaul” of its security system following the hostage crisis perpetrated by disgruntled security guard Alchie Paray.

“I will be meeting with the top management of the Greenhills shopping center. I will demand from them a total overhaul of the security systems of the Greenhills shopping center. Hindi lang ito tungkol sa security ng mall, ito ay tungkol sa security ng lungsod ng San Juan kaya makikialam na ako dito,” he said in a press conference.

(This is not just about the security of the mall, but also the security of the entire city of San Juan so I have to be involved.)

“Sapagkat ‘yung hinaing ni Alchie para posibleng hinaing din noong ibang naka-formation kahapon. Kaya niya gustong i-formation lahat yun para sang-ayunan siya. Simula palang ang gusto niya mag coup d’etat ang mga guwardiya gusto niya ‘yung mga guwardyang naranasan din ‘yung naranasan niya ay umaklas buti nalang hindi pumayag ang mga guwardya kaya magisa nalang siya,” he added.

(The other security guards might also share Alchie's grievances. He wanted to speak to them so they could affirm his allegations. He wanted the guards who had the same experience to join him and go against the management. It was a relief that the guards did not follow him.)

On Monday, March 2, Paray took hostage a total of 55 people inside the administrative office of V-Mall, which is part of the Greenhills Mall complex.

He also shot mall officer-in-charge Ronald Beleta in the chest.

He demanded that he be allowed to talk with the media and his fellow security guards at the mall.

Paray said he wanted the management to listen to his grievances. He accused his superiors of corruption and belittling him and other security guards.

Authorities acceded to his demands while Paray's superiors issued an apology and declared their willingness to resign, paving the way for Paray's surrender after about 10 hours.

Zamora said the incident could have been avoided had Paray’s grievances been addressed properly by the management.

Meanwhile, Zamora revealed that National Capital Regional Police Office Director Debold Sinas was frustrated during the negotiations when Paray’s superiors refused to give in to his demand that they resign.

“Ayaw pa mag-resign nung dalawa, na-frustrate si General Sinas sabi nya inisip pa nila ang trabaho nila sabi paano naman ang trabaho namin sabi namin wag mo na muna isipin ang trabaho mo maraming mamamatay sa loob,” said Zamora.

Sinas, for his part, said he and Zamora agreed to keep their words.

“The credibility of the mayor is at stake kasi pag mangyari ulit yun at sasabihin ng hostage taker na dati nga naganito ka hindi mo rin ginawa kawawa rin naman kami. Kaya I coordinated with Mayor to remind Greenhills to implement what is being demanded doon,” said Sinas.

“Anyway it's for the better kasi pangit naman kunwari kunwari lang next na magsama kami mag-negotiate wala na maniniwala sa amin. Sometimes we have to do we have to do ang agreement naman as part of a gentleman’s agreement,” he added.

Zamora said he discussed the matter during a meeting with Greenhills management on Tuesday. (SunStar Philippines)