Teen balut vendor killed by gunmen on motorcyle in Pangasinan

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, September 21) — A 14-year-old balut vendor was killed by gunmen on a motorcyle in Pangasinan in what authorities said was a case of mistaken identity.

Carina Serquiña, mother of the victim Charles Edward, could not control her emotions as she told CNN Philippines on Thursday about her last moments with her son, who was shot dead in Villasis town on Sept. 15.

"Bago po binaril 'yung anak ko tinawag pa pangalan ko, 'Mama.' Pag dating namin sa tulay, last na sinabi ng anak ko, 'I love you, mama,' 'yun na lang sinabi sa akin. Kaya ayon nag-iiyak na po ako, di na po siya nabuhay," she said.

[Translation: Before my son was shot, he called me, "Mama." When we got to the bridge, the last thing he said was, "I love you, mama." That's why I cried, he could not be revived.]

Carina said prior to the shooting, she left her son to look after their balut stand while she took a nap. She was awakened by the sound of gunshots.

When she checked what happened, she saw her son's body lying on the street in a pool of blood.

Charles suffered three gunshot wounds in different parts of his body from a caliber 45.

The assailants fled the scene after the attack.

Pangasinan police said their initial investigation showed Charles was not the target.

"Very unusual naman na minor ito, balut vendor, wala naman rason kung bakit siya babarilin," Pangasinan police director PCol Jeff Fanged told CNN Philippines.

"Sa grupo ng nakipaglamay, isa-isang prinofile ng mga imbestigador kung sino 'yong possible target… nagsalita 'yung (supposed target), sabi niya na 'maaaring ako 'yung target sana niyan kasi may nakaaway ako a few hours ago,'" he added.

[Translation: It's very unusual for a minor, a balut vendor, to be a target, there was no reason for him to be shot. Investigators profiled a group of people who went to the funeral to know possible targets. One said he might have be the target because he got into a quarrel a few hours before the shooting.]

Despite the identification of persons of interest, authorities said they were still securing enough evidence.

The Serquiña family called on the gunmen to come forward.

"Sa gumawa sa anak ko, sumuko ka naman, parang awa mo na," the mother said. "Di mo ba naisip may pamilya ka rin? Alam mo may ambisyon anak ko. Di mo man lang tinitingnan kung ano pinuputukan mo. Kay bata bata ng anak ko. Di mo man lang tiningnan na bata ang tinitra mo."

[Translation: To the person who killed my son, I beg you to surrender. Have you not thought of your own family? You know, my son had ambitions…You did not even check that the person you were shooting at was a child.]

Carina said earnings from their balut stand were supposed to go to Charles' education.

She not only lost a loving son but also a companion in life, she added.