NATIONAL Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) Director Brigadier General Jose Nartatez has ordered the relief of Navotas City Chief of Police (COP) Colonel Allan Umipig over the mistaken identity case that led to the killing of 17-year-old Jherode “Jhemboy” Baltazar.
In an order signed on August 15, 2023, Nartatez also ordered the filing of administrative complaint against Umipig for failure to supervise the conduct of police operation and investigation and command responsibility for the lapses in the probe.
“The Chief of Police failed to supervise the conduct of police operation and corresponding investigation; hence, he is liable under the Doctrine of Command Responsibility; and violation of article 275 of the revised penal code or the abandonment of one’s own victim by failing to help or render assistance to another whom the offender has accidentally wounded and injured was committed for which all the participating personnel in the said operation could be liable,” said Nartatez.
Also ordered relieved from post were Captain Juanito Arabejo, officer-in-charge of the Station Investigation and Detection Management Section (SIDMS) of the Navotas City Police, and Chief Master Sergeant Aurelito Galvez, chief of clerk of IDMS, and the initiation of complaint for simple neglect of duty after failing to submit suspects to paraffin examination and failure to search for, collect preserve and record evidence.
Nartatez also ordered the relief of Captains (Cpt.) Mark Joseph Carpio, Luisito dela Cruz and Luis Rufo; Police Executive Master Sergeant Jose Oriendo; Staff Sergeants Rondell Sauza, Johnvir Tagacay, Melvin Napay, Mervin Villanueva, Rolan Orbita, Kenneth Amangan, Jorge Boco, and Ever Layco; and Corporals Aldrin Pascual and Mark Joseph Blanco, and the filing of criminal and administrative complaints for failure to help or render assistance to another whom the offender has accidentally wounded or injured and for less grave misconduct.
Earlier, the PNP Internal Affairs Service (IAS) said Umipig concealed the involvement of some 11 policemen in the fatal mistaken identity case of Baltazar.
Instead of a total of 19 policemen, Umipig ordered the filing of cases only against six cops identified as Police Executive Master Sergeant Roberto Balais, Police Staff Sergeant Gerry Maliban, Police Staff Sergeant Antonio Bugayong, Police Staff Sergeant Nikko Esquilon, Police Corporal Eduard Blanco, and Patrolman Benedict Mangada.
Baltazar, whom the police thought was the murder suspect they were looking for, was shot dead in the morning of August 2. The police earlier admitted their mistake.
One of the policemen was armed with a body camera but it was turned off.
Baltazar’s body was recovered, not by the police but his relatives, three hours after the incident.
A forensic pathology expert noted that Baltazar could have been revived if he was immediately taken from the water. (SunStar Philippines)