Greenhills hostage crisis is a grim reminder of poor labor practices

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ICYMI, a 10-hour long hostage crisis occurred yesterday at VMall in Greenhills, where former security guard Alchie Paray held around 30 employees captive while armed with a pistol and a grenade.

Paray demanded an audience before releasing the victims, after which he detailed grievances about his former employer’s alleged unfair treatment of him and his fellow guards. He cited discrimination from the management and corruption from upper-ranking guards accepting bribes.

Per Paray, ‘Bago ko po ito ginawa, alam ko na yung kahihinatnan ko. Pinaplano ko pa lang ‘to, patay na ko.’

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Paray was given an audience with the media but was tackled in the middle of his 20-minute speech after they saw a pistol tucked in his pants. Part of his agreement is that he would leave all weapons behind. He has since been detained by the NCR police.

Meanwhile, Greenhill’s management explained that the dismissal that led to his outburst wasn’t without precedence, as he had gone AWOL on the job weeks prior.

Paray’s security company also claimed that Paray wasn’t sacked, but was only supposed to be assigned to a different mall. However, Paray discredited the assignment rotation as a ‘strategy‘ to fire officers.

rappler.com

Despite the situation causing a lot of panic and turmoil, it didn’t stop the pvblic from sympathizing with Paray’s situation.

While the consensus is that his actions were downright wrong, some have seen it as a testament to the lengths the poor have to go through just to be heard.

Like many Filipinos, Paray is a victim of endo (end of contract) that regularly puts marginalized workers through a short-term contract without the promise of a regular job at the end.

Labor rights group Defend Jobs Philippines has also called into probing the labor grievances that led to Paray’s actions, dubbing the situation as an ‘eye-opener‘ on the country’s treatment of workers.

 

 

 

 

Though Paray’s method was wrong, his motive isn’t all that questionable.

What with our capitalist system pushing the poor to even poorer conditions, it’s unfortunate it’s come to this for those shunned by society to get the chance to speak – even for just 20 minutes.

Banner art by Marx Fidel