Fri. Jul 30th, 2021

MANILA – The House of Representatives’ Committee on Labor and Employment is set to conduct a motu proprio inquiry on March 10 concerning the labor issues raised by a disgruntled security guard who held hostage some 70 people at a mall in San Juan City on Monday.

1PACMAN Party-list Rep. Eric Pineda said while he does not condone Alchie Paray’s act of hostage-taking, the former guard’s grievances against his employers must be investigated.

“I do not condone his actions – endangering lives and violating public order and safety laws. However, there may have been compelling reasons as to why Mr. Paray took such desperate actions, and it’s a matter we should look into,” Pineda said in a statement.

“Mr. Paray never demanded money. His demand was that he wanted to be heard and explain his side. He claimed incompetence, negligence, and corruption. He cited unjust working conditions and employment security since he was allegedly dismissed by his employer. His statement resonated clearly and was heard here at Congress,” Pineda added.

He said it is imperative for the House panel to use its oversight function on the matter “concerning the welfare and protection of our hardworking workers.”

“How can we expect a security guard to perform his task to secure the safety of the areas assigned to him if he himself does not feel secure in terms of his employment? I find it ironic and unacceptable,” he said.

The San Juan City police filed several charges against Paray, which include illegal possession of firearms, serious illegal detention, frustrated murder and illegal possession of bladed weapons.

Authorities recovered from him a .45-caliber pistol, two magazines with 16 live ammunition and a tactical knife after a nine-hour standoff. He remains in the custody of San Juan City Police.

Paray, who was fired from his job after going absent without official leave, claimed that corruption and unfair treatment by his superiors prompted him to resort to hostage-taking.

Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said the Department of Labor and Employment will look into the possible labor violations of Safeguard Armor Security Corp. (Sascor), the security agency that provides security for Virra Mall. (PNA)

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