Tragedy in Tramo: The wrong boy killed
MANILA, Philippines – Jayross Brondial was killed on Sunday, September 24, after a lone masked gunman on a motorcycle sprayed bullets at him.
Jayross had just had his late breakfast past 2 pm when he decided to go out and play with friends. He was half-naked and only wore dark jersey shorts.
Officials in Barangay 103, Pasay City, showed Rappler a CCTV recording: a few minutes before Jayross was shot, the motorcycle-riding gunman had twice circled the street where he would shoot the kid.
On his 3rd pass, he took a halt, pulled his gun, and shot Jayross, who was sitting on a wooden chair. Kids and bystanders quickly ran away and hid. (This part was not captured on camera.)
“Kuya, 'wag! 'Wag ako, hindi ako! (Sir, don't! Not me, it's not me!)” Jayross screamed as he held his chest hit by a bullet. His uncle shouted too: “Putangina mo, hindi 'yan! Walang kasalanan 'yan! (You son of a bitch, not him! He's done anything wrong!)” And the gun was aimed at him.
Jayross attempted to run. He took a step, and – bang, bang, bang, bang, bang, bang – he fell.
Jayross was rushed to the Pasay General Hospital all bloodied. He was fighting to live, breathing amid the pain. His mama was left at home, enfeebled by the sight of her unconscious son sprawled on the street.
Thirteen-year-old Jayross was declared dead on Sunday afternoon. He was supposed to finish elementary this school year. (LIST: Minors, college students killed in Duterte's drug war)
Jayross, or Utoy to his family, is the 7th of the 8 children of Rosana Brondial. His mother swears Utoy was clean from vices. He never smoked, never drank, never tasted even a bit of marijuana. “Walang kamuwang-muwang 'yan si Utoy,” she said. (Utoy was so innocent.)
It hasn’t been a year since Rosana lost her second child, and now another one was taken from her.
Unlike his brothers, Utoy was not one to miss his classes in school. He even notched a spot in the Top 5 honors list of his class in the last quarter. He’s not the smartest, but Rosana insists he was diligent. He was active and present in school performances.
Albeit shy, Utoy liked showing off his porma. He would often request for new shirts to match his favorite shoes, an imitation of the Jordans. He was tall for his age at 5’5”, which gave him advantage in the basketball games he played with friends after school. In his head, he was as good as Cleveland Cavaliers player Lebron James.
Born and raised on Tramo Street, Utoy had an innocence that was unquestionable to neighbors and barangay officials. Growing up, he went from playing marbles on the street to basketball games in makeshift courts and online games in Pisonet. Life for Utoy was spent in school and games and friends and porma.
“Lahat ng tao rito magsasabi,” Rosana said, “nagkamali 'yung bumaril kay Utoy.” (All the people here will tell you, the one who shot Utoy made a mistake.)
It should have been Gayi, according to friends and neighbors of the Brondials.
Gary “Gayi” Alandra, man in his 30’s, is a known drug user and pusher on Tramo Street, Pasay City. Barangay 104 Chairman Marilou Briones confirmed he is on top of the barangay’s drug watch list.
Briones said Gayi grew up kind, but lost his sense of direction in life when he turned older. He became a troubled man, and a troublemaker. In August, he threatened to bomb the barangay hall after suspecting that officials tipped his location to the police. He stormed the hall, screaming, “Pasasabugin ko kayo!” (I'm going to bomb all of you!)
Rosana is certain Gayi was the supposed target of the gunman.
That Sunday afternoon, Gayi, like Utoy, was half-naked and only wore dark jersey shorts. Gayi too sat on the wooden chair outside the house of the Brondials. When he left, Utoy went out to sit in the same spot.
After a few minutes, Utoy was killed on the same seat.
Even Gayi himself seemed to think he was the target.
Gayi left in a motorcycle an hour after Utoy was killed. Neighbors say he escaped. He has not returned to their house in Tramo since. The barangay chairman thinks he will never come back.
No one can tell the police of Gayi’s whereabouts. Not even his family knows where he supposedly escaped.
Gayi’s mother could only defend her son for what happened to Utoy. She only told Rosana, “Hindi rin namin kagustuhan 'yung nangyari.” (We didn't want this to happen either.) – Rappler.com