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Greenhills drama ends as ex-security guard frees hostages

The hostage situation at the Greenhills shopping center has ended after the disgruntled former security guard freed his hostages following hours of negotiations.

Early on Monday evening, San Juan City Mayor Francis Zamora talked to suspect Archie Paray and convinced him to come out without bringing his gun and hand grenade.

After releasing his hostages at past 8 p.m., Paray faced the media and voiced his sentiment on why he held hostage the individuals.

Paray alleged that there is corruption and unfair treatment in his security firm, SASCOR Armor Security Agency.

“Ang korapsyon nila, matindi... tatanggalin nila ito dahil lang sa dahilan na ‘yan na tumanggap ng pera? Bakit lahat naman tumatanggap ah?” Paray said.

"Dumating sa punto na kailangan na nila maglaglag ng guwardiya na nagtratrabaho para lang protektahan 'yung mga tenant nila," Paray added.

Paray was arrested but not before he faced the media, with a microphone in his hand, to tell the public about his complaints against his employer security agency.

He later said he was ready to be shot in front of the media.

Sensing that his guard was already down, one policeman lunged at Paray before others joined to subdue and arrest the hostage-taker.

According to a report on "24 Oras", people inside the Virra Mall at the Greenhills Shopping Center were sent running for safety on Monday after Paray opened fire at the mall, injuring the security manager.

The security manager was seen being carried by two men onto a wheelchair after he was shot.

The mall was placed on lockdown immediately after the incident.

The suspect, a dismissed security guard in the same establishment, took 30 people hostage.  However, it was later bared by Zamora that the number of hostages was actually 60 to 70 people.

At least four of the hostages were rescued after a few hours.

Paray said he had already apologized to the hostages when he was still holding them. According to the former security guard, what had happened should be a lesson to other employers.

"Hopefully sana maging aral ito di lang sa establishment na ito... kahit saan sana may mga nagtratrabaho, lahat tayo diyan important tayo kaya tayo nandiyan... Di porke tayo ang boss, hahamakin natin 'yung nasa baba natin," Paray said.

The suspect was brought to San Juan Police Station so that formal charges will be filed against him.

A video captured the panicked screams of shoppers and vendors who were rushing to exit the building.

Other videos showed a SWAT Team entering the mall and people clustered outside the mall entrance.

Zamora was later seen entering the building along with other authorities.

He confirmed that the hostage-taker was a security guard at the mall who was dismissed.

In a statement, the Greenhills Center management said that the hostages were employees of the mall.

The injured security manager was brought to the hospital and is already in stable condition.

When Paray spoke to the media through video call hours into the hostage, he admitted that he knew he would end up in jail for shooting the security manager.

“Dalawa lang ‘yung kalalabasan ko diyan ‘pag ako lumabas: either sa sementeryo o sa kulungan dahil nga nakabaril na ako,” Paray said, according to a Stand for a Truth report by Eduard Faraon.

Police said Paray was dismissed from his post after going absent without leave.

“Bakit napakadagsa ng tulong ngayon, samantalang no’ng nakikipagusap pa ako sa inyo, dinededma niyo lang, wala kayong ginagawa, binabalewala niyo lang,” the hostage-taker said during the video call. —With reports from Julia Mari Ornedo/NB/LDF, GMA News