Palace welcomes PNP's handling of hostage crisis in Greenhills
Malacañang welcomed on Tuesday the Philippine National Police (PNP) handling of the more than 10-hour hostage crisis in a mall in San Juan City.
In a press briefing, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said during the Cabinet meeting on Monday night, Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año briefed President Rodrigo Duterte and the Cabinet members of the hostage-taking incident during the same day inside V-Mall.
"He (Duterte) was happy that there was no casualty except for one, there is only one. And then he related what he did when he was mayor," Panelo said.
A person was hurt after hostage-taker Alchie Paray, a former security guard, shot him after seizing the mall's administration office.
Paray was reportedly laid off after going AWOL (absent without official leave).
There were reportedly between 60 and 70 individuals, not around 30 as earlier reported, who became his hostages.
The hostage crisis, which started at about 10 am ended around 8:15pm on the same day following hours of negotiations, including allowing the suspect to speak to the media to air his grievances.
Panelo acknowledged that there were criticisms on how the police handled the crisis, including allowing Paray to talk to the media.
"Well, I understand there have been some criticisms and (Police chief) General (Archie) Gamboa said it was tactical. I other words, apparently the main concern is the safety of the 30 hostages. And since they survived and they are alive, I think we should welcome that," he said. Celerina Monte/DMS