A teenage boy hunting for ‘derby spiders’ was killed by an electrified wire set by a neighbour to prevent his prized fighting cocks being stolen.
Edison Calsado Caratay, aged 16, was with his friends in a back yard of a neighbour’s house in Cavite when he trod on the improvised, but deadly, trap.
The wire had been laid by 37-year-old construction worker Jaycer Ladesa Guballo, who is now being questioned in police custody.
Police investigator Jason Bianes Murcia said Guballo admitted to installing the live wire to prevent anyone stealing his prized fighting cocks.
He said that he would switch it on every evening as a precautionary measure. However, under questioning, he admitted that he forgot to switch it off the following morning, which led to the tragic electrocution of the victim.
The victim’s mother, Elsie, reported the incident to the police after midnight on Sunday (March 18).
The teenager was rushed to Kawit Kalayaan Hospital and later transferred to Divine Grace Hospital in General Trias, Cavite, but was pronounced dead on arrival.
Spider fighting is a popular pastime in rural areas, particularly among children.
The game begins by placing two spiders at opposite ends of a stick. The spiders are then prodded to move along the length of the stick until they encounter each other and fight.
Spiders suitable for fighting are almost always adult female orb-weavers of the genus Neoscona. Only the spiders coming from this genus are considered ‘damang’ or ‘kaka’ — meaning “derby spiders” or “fighting spiders”.
Ordinances against the pastime are now in effect in some cities. In the Negros Occidental province, spider derbies are treated as a ‘threat to public morals’. The provincial police director of Bacolod City has issued an order warning residents of participating in what can often be a form of illegal gambling.