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Sen. Villanueva urges DOLE to look into mall hostage taker's grievances

The work-related grievances of a dismissed security guard who took dozens of victims hostage at a San Juan City mall should be investigated by the Department of Labor and Employment, Senator Joel Villanueva said on Tuesday.

“While we lament that the suspect had to resort to taking hostages to call attention against his former employer, it seems his grievance went unaddressed which led to the incident. Grievances of workers especially pertaining to labor practices is within the purview of DOLE’s jurisdiction,” Villanueva, chair of the Senate Committee on Labor, Employment, and Human Resources Development, said in a statement.

“We ask the department to look into the matter because we cannot afford another similar incident that will affect innocent people," he added.

Nevertheless, the senator condemned the means suspect Archie Paray used to air his resentment over alleged corruption and unfair treatment at his security agency.

“The actions of the suspect are abhorrent. The way he used to call attention to the problem will never be right any way you look at it,” said Villanueva.

The victims would carry the trauma for the rest of their lives, not to mention the fear imparted among customers who go to malls for leisure, he added.

Villanueva underscored that licenses to work as security officers should only be issued to individuals with a "tough mental disposition."

After holding his victims captive for several hours, Paray released them unharmed and he was arrested. — DVM, GMA News