Strangers show support to free hostage-taker Paray

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Random people here and abroad offered support for Alchie Paray, a frustrated security guard who faces a number of criminal charges in court after taking dozens of hostages at the Virra Mall in San Juan on March 2.

Shop tenants from the inside the Greenhills shopping complex visited Paray in his detention cell inside the San Juan police station to bring him food, said Gina Paray, aunt of Alchie who lives in Laguna.

“We are thankful to them because we couldn’t visit [Paray, as often as we want to] as we are too far,” she said.

According to his brother Jojit Paray, some people living and working abroad had contacted the Paray family to offer help in raising funds for his bail.

“We don’t even know these people,” Jojit, who works as a private bodyguard, told the Inquirer by phone on Tuesday.

“I guess many appreciate him as he only wanted to be heard, to air his grievances not just for himself but for the other guards as well.”

On Wednesday, a local court hearing cases of illegal possession of explosives illegal possession of firearms, frustrated murder, grave coercion and grave threats filed against the security guard was scheduled to rule on his bail application.

The family insisted that the mall guard was a “good man, who only got fed up.”

“He didn’t have any (prior criminal) record and never hurt anybody,” Jojit said.

What put Alchie Paray on the edge?

He said his brother, a usually quiet man who “got along with many mall employees and fellow guards,” had mentioned his problems at work, particularly the alleged “corruption and bribery” involving Sascor Security Agency officials.

Jojit said Paray had discussed these with the management but said “on several occasions: ‘you didn’t have the right to complain because you’re just a security guard.'”

He was then reassigned to a “more difficult shift,” before he was fired.

Recently, “he went back to get the original (copies of his) records like the (National Bureau of Investigation) clearance but he was given the runaround.”

That triggered him, said Jojit.

Though grateful, Jojit saddened how some people would “take advantage” of his brother and sympathy for the public.

For instance, he mentioned a viral Facebook post featuring Paray standing beside his deceased child’s coffin. He said that the photo is more than a year ago when his brother lost his child. Now, the wife of Paray is pregnant with their second child.

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