(WARNING: This story has potentially upsetting content. Readers should exercise caution.)
A security guard at SM City North Edsa faced severe consequences for throwing a puppy off an overpass in Quezon City.
The incident came to light when netizen Janine Santos posted on her Facebook account on July 11 to ask for help because the puppy was thrown off a small bridge that connects to the shopping mall.
“Pinapaalis [noong] guard [yong] mga bata, ayaw umalis [noong] bata. Ang ginawa, tinapon [noong] guard [yong] aso mula [sa] footbridge,” Santos said. “May isang lalaki po na kinausap [yong] guard, ang [sabi noong] guard dun sa lalaki: ‘Wala akong pake.’ Lahat po ng tao na nakasaksi halos maiyak dahil sa kawalang hiya [noong] security guard.”
Other witnesses who took to TikTok on the same day said the guard got frustrated by the children’s refusal to leave the overpass, grabbed the puppy and threw it down below.
The puppy landed on the sidewalk, where a bystander rushed to its aid.
Netizens have identified him as Jojo Malicdem, a security guard at the SM North Edsa shopping mall employed by RJC Corporate Security Services, Inc.
In a statement posted on their Facebook account, the security agency and the mall management expressed sadness over the event and extended their sympathy to the affected young owners.
SM took action by dismissing the security guard involved and subsequently banned him from serving in any of the SM Supermalls branches. The mall added that as a pet-friendly establishment, it condemns any acts that endanger or harm animals.
“We have called the attention of the security agency to conduct an immediate and thorough investigation into the matter. The security guard has been dismissed and is no longer allowed to service any of our malls nationwide,” the management of SM said.
“We have initiated an investigation through the security agency to ensure a thorough examination of this matter. The guard responsible has been terminated from his position and is no longer permitted to work in any of our malls nationwide, it added.
The security agency, on the other hand, said they are investigating the incident.
“We sincerely regret the incident that happened at a mall in Quezon City today involving a group of children and their pet. We are thoroughly investigating this incident together with public authorities and other parties involved,” said RJC Corporate Security Services, Inc.
The incident sparked public outcry, with individuals expressing their outrage on social media. Many shared their sympathy for the children who had been caring for the puppy. Animal welfare organizations were tagged in these posts to bring attention to the matter.
The Animal Kingdom Foundation (AKF) said the puppy’s name was “Browny.” It confirmed the puppy’s demise, and denounced the security guard in a statement released on July 12. The foundation expressed deep feelings about the little dog’s faith, saying it deserved protection.
“He was supposed to protect lives, this puppy should have counted as one too,” AKF said, adding Browny is not a piece of trash that can be just thrown away. “He is not a toy. He is a puppy who brought joy to his owners.”
“He was adored by those kids. He was loved. And he gave them unconditional love in return,” the foundation added.
The Philippine Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) also condemned the security guard’s actions and announced their intention to file a case against him under the Animal Welfare Act.
The animal welfare society pointed out that his behavior and the puppy’s tragic end violated the provisions of the Act, and they were committed to ensuring that the person responsible faced appropriate consequences.
“PAWS condemns in the strongest possible terms this act of cruelty. We are demanding an immediate investigation of this incident and we have gotten in touch with witnesses so that we can file a case,” PAWS stated.
PAWS said that Section 6 of the Act prohibits the torture, neglect, maltreatment, or any form of harm towards animals, and it ensures that those responsible for such acts are held accountable.