MANILA — Philippine National Police (PNP) chief, Gen. Archie Gamboa has defended the move of authorities who handled the nine-hour hostage standoff involving a disgruntled former security guard inside a mall in San Juan City Monday night.
Gamboa said there was a tactical reason for allowing the hostage-taker to hold a press conference after the incident.
“The reason behind there is tactical. Alam ninyo probably very open tayo, you must understand in some aspect of police operation we cannot divulge everything,” Gamboa told reporters in a press conference held at Camp Crame Tuesday.
Hostage-taker Alchie Paray is a former security guard of the V-Mall located in Greenhills Shopping Center. After a long negotiation, Paray released his hostages at around 8:16 p.m. Monday.
He was allowed to talk to the media without handcuffs to air his grievances for almost 20 minutes.
Paray complained about the management’s poor treatment of him and his fellow security guards which prompted him to plan the hostage taking.
”Marami critic bakit siya pinayagan na mag-presscon pa but of course, sinabi ni Mayor (Francis Zamora) it is part of the negotiation (Critics have been asking why the hostage-taker was allowed to hold a press conference, but of course the San Juan City mayor said it was part of the negotiation),” Gamboa said in a radio interview.
During the negotiation, Zamora assured Paray’s safety if he surrenders.
“We have to make him relax. Ramdam ko siya gustong ilabas na sama ng loob. Sa pamamagitan (ng) media gusto niya(ng) ilabas (ang) sama (ng) na loob niya, isa sa mga demand gusto niya makausap ‘yung media (I felt he wanted to air his grievances to the media and one of his demands was to talk to the media),” Zamora told reporters after the incident.
Zamora assured that Paray would be safe while under the custody of San Juan police and legal charges are being prepared against him.
Interior Secretary Eduardo Año said the PNP handled the situation well as the primary consideration was the safety of all hostages.
“We will conduct an after-incident review and assess the actions of the involved PNP units in order to find out how their performance can be further improved,” Año told reporters Tuesday.
Gamboa said the recent hostage-taking incident would be a lesson for future crisis management and noted that he was satisfied with how police handled the situation.
Paray entered the V-Mall at around 10 a.m. and shot and wounded a mall guard and held hostage some 30 people who were mostly employees of the mall’s administration office.
The wounded victim, a security guard named Ronald Velita, was brought to Cardinal Santos Medical Center and now in stable condition. (iam/sovereignph.com/PNA)