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Greenhills hostage-taker’s labor issues tackled by House panel next week

The House Committee on Labor and Employment is set to hold an inquiry into the labor-related concerns raised by Alchie Paray, a former security guard who staged a hostage at a mall in Greenhills, San Juan City earlier this week.

The hearing is set on Tuesday, March 10, and coincides with the scheduled first hearing on the ABS-CBN franchise renewal bills.

In a statement, House panel chair Eric Pineda said that while he does not condone Paray's actions, there may be compelling reasons why the former security guard had to take such desperate actions, and it should be looked into.

“Mr. Paray never demanded for money. His demand was that he wanted to be heard and explain his side. He claimed incompetence, negligence, and corruption," Pineda said.

"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," he added.

It is therefore imperative, Pineda said, that the House exercises is oversight powers on matters concerning the welfare and protection of 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 secured in terms of his employment? I find it ironic and unacceptable," he added.

Criminal complaints have already been filed against Paray for holding dozens of people hostage, including frustrated murder, serious illegal detention, illegal possession of firearm and ammunition, and illegal possession of explosive and incendiary device.

He, however, said he has no regrets over the hostage-taking incident as it allowed him to air his work-related grievances. —NB, GMA News