INTERIOR Secretary Eduardo and Año and PNP chief Gen. Archie Gamboa yesterday expressed satisfaction with the way the San Juan police handled the hostage-taking incident at the V-Mall in Greenhills on Monday.
Dismissed security guard Alchie Paray shot a mall guard, took hostage at least 40 persons, and surrendered after about 10 hours. The police allowed him to talk to media through radio during negotiations. After his surrender, Paray was allowed to face the media without handcuffs, to air his gripes. During the media conference, one of the security men grabbed him on the thought he was pulling out a gun. Police officials later confirmed he had a gun when he faced the media.
Año said, “For me, I believe the PNP handled the situation well. The objective is to ensure the safety of all hostages and they achieved the objective.”
Año nevertheless said he will order the PNP “to conduct an after-incident review and asses the performance (of policemen) and to check if the protocol was followed … and to sort out and find out how we can improve the performance of the PNP to resolving situations like that.”
On why the crisis dragged on for 10 hours, Año said hostage negotiations should not be bound by timelines and negotiators should continue talking to hostage-takers as long as they are not hurting anyone.
Gamboa said the PNP is going to look into the protocol, noting that civilians were at the immediately vicinity. He also noted videos of the incident were shown live through Facebook.
On why Paray was allowed to hold a press conference, Gamboa said: “The reason is tactical which we cannot divulge and I hope the public would understand.”
Brig. Gen. Michael John Dubia, director of the PNP Supervisory Office for Security and Investigative Agencies (SOSIA) said his office is going to look into the neuro psychiatric clearance submitted by security guard-applicants.
SOSIA administers and supervises the organization, operation, training, business, and activities of all stakeholders of the private security industry in the country.
On Monday night, Dubia said Paray had no license as security guard.
San Juan Mayor Francis Zamora said that during the negotiations, Paray was offered P1 million by his agency, Sascor Armor Security Agency, to end the hostage incident but he refused the offer. – With Christian Oineza