Greenhills hostage standoff ends after ten hours with one hurt

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, March 2) — A hostage standoff involving around 60 to 70 employees of V-Mall in Greenhills Shopping Complex in San Juan City ended Monday after ten hours, with the hostages released following the apology and resignation of the hostage-takers' bosses.

Alchie Paray, 40, emerged from the mall along with his hostages at around 8 p.m. San Juan City Mayor Francis Zamora spoke with him prior to his surrender, promising him protection if he leaves behind his gun and grenade.

He was allowed to address the media without handcuffs for more than 20 minutes before being tackled from behind by a man and then getting arrested by authorities. He is now under the custody of San Juan police.

Zamora told reporters that Paras' address to the media was part of their agreement for him to release the hostages and for him to surrender.

The hostages, initially estimated at around 30, are now being debriefed before they are sent home, Zamora said, adding that the city government has vowed medical assitance for them.

A security guard was earlier injured when Paray opened fire at around 10 a.m. Zamora said that guard is in stable condition.

Paray was disgruntled over what he believed to be his unjust termination. However, Oscar Hernandez, the general manager of the security company that employed Paray, said the hostage-taker was not fired but was only supposed to be transferred to a different assignment as part of their company's policy of rotating security guards.

Zamora vowed that the city government will investigate Paray's claims, including his allegation that corruption was involved in his termination.

"Hindi pwedeng maulit ito sa San Juan. So makikialam na ang San Juan City government sa security agency na ito at sa Greenhills Shopping Center. Ang nangyari ngayon ay nakataya ang buhay ng napakarami dahil sa sinasabi niyang mga hinaing niya," Zamora said.

[Translation: This can't happen again in San Juan. The San Juan City government will intervene with the security agency and Greenhills Shopping Center. A lot of people's lives were put on the line because of his grievances.]