By Vanne Elaine P. Terrazola
Tension gripped a commercial building along EDSA Tuesday morning when an off-duty security guard went amok and took himself as hostage.
Operatives from Quezon City Police District (QCPD) arrested Herminigildo Marsula Jr., 33, after a five-hour negotiation for taking himself as a hostage at the Eton Centris Cyberpod 1 building along the Epifanio delos Santos Avenue (EDSA).
The guard, a resident of Barangay Kaypian, San Jose del Monte, Bulacan, faces charges of alarm and scandal, grave threats, physical injury and illegal possession of firearms for going amok and causing tension early morning in the building that houses business process outsourcing (BPO) workers.
QCPD director Chief Supt. Guillermo Eleazar said Marsula was having a drinking session with a fellow guard inside their office when they had a heated argument, apparently due to the influence of alcohol.
The fight was settled and Marsula was brought to an office of a BPO company to rest.
Later, the suspect went out and, still intoxicated, started banging his head and punching the wall of the corridor.
Eleazar said an employee of the building saw him near Marsula, who, however, was punched by the suspect.
The employee sought the assistance of a cop at a nearby police desk.
As the complainant approached with a policeman, Marsula went to their office and got a firearm from a drawer.
The drunk security guard allegedly pointed the gun at them.
The policeman was prompted to ask for back up when Marsula went inside the office and locked himself.
Responding officers informed Marsula’s wife and father-in-law who arrived around 5 a.m.
Accompanied by a police, they tried to convince the suspect to surrender but Marsula resisted and pointed the gun to himself.
A second negotiation took place with the suspect’s father and brother-in-law convincing him to come out. Marsula, however, remained deaf to his relatives’ calls.
The wife decided to fetch their 12-year-old son who was suffering from hemophilia.
Eleazar said they believed the sick son was the reason for Marsula’s behavior.
The security guard was informed that his son was coming and finally surrendered. Police seized from him the caliber 9mm pistol he used.
Marsula went out of the building around 8:10 a.m. and was told to undergo medical examination, including alcohol breath test.
Eleazar clarified to the Manila Bulletin that they did not lock down the whole Centris compound because the tension was confined to the area where Marsula locked himself.
There were also no gunshots nor injuries as Marsula only threatened to shoot himself.
The drunk security guard, as of press time, was sobering up at the Kamuning Police Station. Eleazar said they are keen on pressing charges against him.
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