7-year-old boy shot by barangay tanod on New Year's eve, dies

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The irate suspended barangay watchman was angered by the noise and went on a shooting spree which left two dead and one injured in Makati City.

The grieving father of Mark Angelo "Macmac" Diego, 7, recounted to DZMM news how his son was shot on New Year's eve, which, sadly, also happened to be his birthday.

Mark Anthony Diego told DZMM his son Macmac was simply enjoying a fireworks display when suspended barangay watchman ("tanod") Raymundo Liza arrived, astride a motorcycle.

The irate barangay tanod was  angered by the noise revelers were making in the Diego family's home. He then confronted and yelled at one of the guests, John Edward Pascual, challenging him to a fistfight.

He then began firing openly, hitting 7-year-old Macmac in the head. The bullet lodged in his skull eventually resulted to his death a day later.

Macmac passed away last Friday, January 1 at Ospital ng Makati after shortly being in a coma.

The incident left two of Diego's friends, John Edward Pascual and Israel Lava, injured as well.

John Edward Pascual later died on January 3 due to injuries sustained during the shooting.

According to police, there is now an ongoing manhunt for Liza. If and when he is caught, he will be charged with murder and frustrated murder.

Gun violence and how to protect our kids

This is not the only case of children falling victim to gun-related crimes.

Sadly, incidence of kids getting hit by stray bullets are a normal occurrence all year round. But these incidents reach their peak during New Year's eve.

GMA News reports that there were 41 recorded injuries caused by stray bullets at the height of the New Year's eve celebration last December 31, 2015 to January 1, 2016.

Of these 41 injuries recorded by the Philippine National Police (PNP), 7 were children; the youngest being a three-year-old girl from Zamboanga del Norte.

There have been no recorded fatalities due to stray bullets.

Though there is no fool-proof way to keep our kids safe from gun violence, there are measures that can be taken by the government and parents alike to manage these cases.

Stricter gun laws must be enacted in order to make sure that gun owners are licensed, responsible, and upstanding members of society.

There should be more gun violence awareness programs in barangay halls and health centers, for instance, that will teach kids and adults alike about the importance of gun safety and responsible gun ownership.

Funds should also be allocated for programs of this nature as well as research to prevent future incidence.

Lasty, counseling and support must be provided by physicians and local officials to aid children exposed to violence in dealing with health hazards and the possible psychological trauma caused by exposure to all type of violence in their homes and their neighborhood.

READ: 11-year-old is killed by stray bullet right outside his home

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