The youngsters who set fire to a balloon vendor last week got a scolding from Manila Mayor Isko Moreno.
The vendor, identified as Oliver Rosales, only went to take a rest from his work and slept near the barangay hall in Pandacan, Manila when a group of teenagers played a prank on him and lit the balloons he was selling.
The actual incident caught in a viral CCTV footage showed the pranksters immediately running away after the balloons burst into flames, which then revealed a struggling Rosales, who eventually sustained first and second-degree burns in his body. He is currently confined at a hospital in Mandaluyong.
Mayor Isko, during his Capital Report last Friday, expressed his disappointment over the incident and urged the suspects to surrender themselves to the authorities.
“Nagha-hanapbuhay yung tao, kung ‘di ka ba naman talipandas, anong uri ng utak mayroon ka? Sindihan mo lobo. Ano, joke ang buhay ng tao? Eh, gagawin din kitang joke,” said Mayor Isko.
“Nagha-hanapbuhay yung tao, para sa pamilya niya marangal. Ang hirap magtinda sa kalye. Susunugin nyo yung hanapbuhay. O, kita ninyo nangyari,” he added.
Mayor Isko also called on the parents of the “bullies” to discipline their children.
“Kung hindi kayo naturuan ng magulang niyo ng tamang pag-iisip, lalagyan ko kayo ng turnilyo sa utak, baka nahulugan kayo ng turnilyo. Salbahe kayo ha,” the frustrated mayor said.
“Sa mga magulang ng bata na ‘yun, kung hindi niyo kayang disiplinahan ang mga anak ninyo, the government will intervene. Kami didisiplina diyan,” he warned.
On Monday, five of the seven suspects were presented by Mayor Isko during a press conference at the city hall.
According to the suspect, who used a lighter to spark the fire, he did not think that the prank would cause damage, saying, “Akala ko po sasabog lang.”
In a Philippine STAR report, two of the seven pranksters — Ivan Matematico, 19, and Dranreb Colon, 18 — will face serious physical injuries and alarm and scandal charges.
The report further said that the five other minors “were spared from the cases, but will undergo counseling at the local social welfare department.”
Parents of the seven suspects reached a settlement by agreeing to pay Rosales P5,000 each and shouldering the balloon vendor’s medical bills.