6 cops ordered arrested over fatal mistaken identity case

MANILA. Jerhode "Jhemboy" Baltazar was laid to rest on August 16, 2023. (Third Anne Peralta-Malonzo)
MANILA. Jerhode "Jhemboy" Baltazar was laid to rest on August 16, 2023. (Third Anne Peralta-Malonzo)

A NAVOTAS court has ordered the arrest of six policemen involved in the fatal mistaken identity case of 17-year-old Jhemboy Baltazar.

In a decision signed on Tuesday, October 3, 2023, the Navotas City Regional Trial Court Branch 286 ordered the arrest of Police Executive Master Sergeant Roberto Balais Jr., Police Staff Sergeant Gerry Maliban, Police Staff Sergeant Antonio Bugayong Jr., Police Staff Sergeant Nikko Esquilon, Police Corporal Eduard Jake Blanco, and Patrolman Benedict Mangada.

The cops were facing murder charges in relation to the killing of Baltazar on August 2.

As reported, Baltazar and his companion were preparing their boat for fishing when the police, who were then conducting a hot pursuit operation against a murder suspect, arrived.

The witness said they initially hid in the corner as they were afraid of the cops who were then in civilian clothes.

When they were about to come out, the police started shooting, prompting Baltazar to jump off the water.

Baltazar, who sustained gunshots in the head and right hand, was recovered several hours later not by the police but by concerned citizens.

Earlier, the Philippine National Police Internal Affairs Service (IAS) recommended the dismissal of the six cops after they were found guilty of grave irregularity in the performance of duty and conduct unbecoming of a police officer.

The IAS also recommended the dismissal from the service of Police Captains Mark Joseph Carpio and Luisito dela Cruz who were the team leaders of the policemen involved in the operation. (SunStar Philippines)

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