Philippine National Police

Navotas court orders arrest of 6 cops in Jemboy Baltazar killing

Jairo Bolledo

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Navotas court orders arrest of 6 cops in Jemboy Baltazar killing

SLAIN. Jemboy Baltazar, the 17-year-old teenager who was shot and killed by members of the Navotas police, is brought to the San Lorenzo Ruiz Church before his funeral, on August 16, 2023.

Jire Carreon/Rappler

The six cops also face another murder complaint and possible dismissal from the police service

MANILA, Philippines – A Navotas court has ordered the arrest of six cops tagged in the killing of 17-year-old Jerhode Jemboy Baltazar back in August.

Based on the order issued by Navotas City Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 286, the court found probable cause to issue the warrant against the cops and place them under the arrest. The cops were identified as: 

  • Executive Master Sergeant Roberto Balais Jr. 
  • Staff sergeants Antonio Bugayong Jr., Gerry Maliban, and Niko Pines Esquilon 
  • Corporal Edmard Jake Blanco 
  • Patrolman Benedict Mangada 

The court explained that the probable cause was determined after the evaluation of the Navotas City prosecutors’ resolution, which indicted the six. The RTC also mentioned other supporting evidence like the joint sworn statement of police captains Mark Joseph Carpio and Luisito dela Cruz, who served as the cops’ supervisors. 

On August 2, Navotas cops killed Jemboy while he and his friend were cleaning their fishing boat in a river near their home in Barangay NBBS Kaunlaran, Navotas City. According to forensic pathologist Dr. Raquel Fortun, Jemboy died due to brain injury, with drowning as a contributing factor. 

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Later, the complaint for reckless imprudence resulting in homicide was filed against the cops – also the basis for the warrant against the six. A murder complaint was also filed against them, including 13 other cops involved in the operation that killed Jemboy. 

Last month, the National Capital Region Police Office also approved the dismissal from service of the six cops, including Carpio and Dela Cruz. – Rappler.com

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Jairo Bolledo

Jairo Bolledo is a multimedia reporter at Rappler covering justice, police, and crime.