5 of 7 teens who injured balloon vendor in cruel prank surrender
MANILA, Philippines — Five of the seven teenagers who set fire to the balloons of a vendor who was sleeping on the sidewalk in Pandacan, Manila have surrendered to the authorities.
Manila Mayor Isko Moreno on Monday presented the five youths who were caught in a video setting fire to the balloons of the vendor, who was only identified as Mang Oliver.
The balloon burst into flames and caused burn injuries to Mang Oliver.
Seven youths were identified to be involved in the crime, five of whom are minors.
One of them, identified as Danreb Colon, could face charges of “at the very least” physical injury depending on the seriousness of the injuries sustained by the vendor, as he is already of legal age, Moreno said.
The five teenagers surrendered themselves to the authorities, Moreno said, after he urged them to give themselves up. The two others, identified as Ivan Matematico, 19, and the one known as “Axel,” are still at large and being pursued by authorities.
Moreno said the victim has already given his sworn affidavit to the police. He is currently still confined to a hospital in Mandaluyong.
“Siya [victim] raw ay magpa-file ng kaso laban sa menor de edad na ito… Sila ay may kakaharaping kaso dahil iyan ang huling nilagdaan ng biktima. May imbestigasyon at ihaharap sila sa piskalya,” Moreno said in a press conference.
(The victim will file a case against the teens… They will face cases because that is the intention of the victim. They will be investigated and will face the prosecution.)
During the presentation, one of the youths admitted that he did not know that the prank would hurt the vendor.
“Akala ko po sasabog lang (I thought the balloons will just burst),” he said.
The Manila mayor revealed that one of the teenagers had been caught violating the city’s imposed curfew.
Moreno likewise urged the public not to take the law into their own hands and punish the seven culprits themselves.
“Talagang nakapangigigil ‘yung kagaguhan nitong mga ‘to. Pero hangga’t maaari, nananawagan ako sa inyo, huwag niyong pagbuhatan ng kamay, pagkat hindi maitatama ng isang mali ang isa pang pagkakamali,” he said.
(The act is infuriating but I am appealing to you not to punish these teenagers yourselves because their wrong could not be righted by another wrong.)
“Huwag nating ilalagay sa ating kamay ang hustisyang ninanais natin. May pamamaraan dyan, at legal,” Moreno added.
(Let us not put justice into our own hands. There is a process for that, a legal process.)
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