Philippine National Police

TIMELINE: The killing of 17-year-old Jemboy Baltazar in Navotas

Jairo Bolledo

This is AI generated summarization, which may have errors. For context, always refer to the full article.

TIMELINE: The killing of 17-year-old Jemboy Baltazar in Navotas

SLAIN. Jessie, father of Jerhode Jemboy Baltazar who was killed by cops in Navotas City, views his son's casket on August 9.

Jire Carreon/Rappler

(1st UPDATE) Jemboy's killing adds to the long list of cases of innocent individuals mercilessly slain by the police

MANILA, Philippines – Six years after the killing of Kian delos Santos in Caloocan City in August 2017, another 17-year-old died in the hands of cops.

Jerhode Jemboy Baltazar was killed by cops in Navotas City while the teen was at the river near their home. He was a protective brother to his sisters and a loving son to his mother and father.

TIMELINE: The killing of 17-year-old Jemboy Baltazar in Navotas

Jemboy dreamt of becoming a seafarer, but stopped going to school before he could finish Grade 10. To help his family, he worked as a fisherman.

Unfortunately, Jemboy could no longer fulfill his dream of helping his parents. He was killed by the police in the same river that sustained their livelihood.

Jemboy’s killing adds to the long list of cases of innocent individuals mercilessly slain by the police.

Below is a timeline of the key events surrounding Jemboy’s killing.

August 2, 2023

At around 1:30 pm on August 2, Jemboy and his friend clean their fishing boat. It is Jemboy’s supposed first fishing trip after two months.

Cops from the Navotas City Philippine National Police (PNP) arrive in the river in Barangay NBBS Kaunlaran, Navotas City. Rattled and scared, Jemboy jumps off the boat and swims in the river, while his friend remains in the boat. The police then fire at Jemboy.

Jessa, Jemboy’s eldest sister, refutes this version of the story and says her brother did not jump off the boat. She says that when the cops arrive in the river, they issue a warning shot by firing at the water. According to her, the cops rain gunshots at Jemboy and his friend. Jemboy’s friend sees his friend with gunshot wounds, Jessa says.

Cops later find out that Jemboy is not the target of their operation. The police are looking for suspects involved in a shooting incident in the village, and receive information that one of the suspects allegedly boarded a boat, Navotas City police chief Police Colonel Allan Umipig says.

Water, Waterfront, Transportation
JEMBOY’S BOAT. The boat Jemboy and his friend used before the 17-year-old was killed by cops on August 2, 2023. Jire Carreon/ Rappler

At 2 pm, Jemboy’s family arrive at the river after learning that he was shot by the police. Cops bar the family from getting near him, saying that Jemboy has yet to leave the water, according to Jessa.

Jemboy’s family argues with the police, saying they should check on him to know whether or not he is still alive.

At around 5 pm, or after three hours of being submerged in the water, a relative recovers Jemboy’s lifeless body. Jemboy’s father Jessie holds his son while on top of a makeshift boat, reminiscent of Michelangelo’s Pieta. Jessa captures the heartbreaking scene on video, which makes the rounds online.

The family waits for the PNP’s Scene of the Crime Operatives until evening.

At around 10 pm, the funeral home picks up Jemboy’s remains.

August 5, 2023

Three days after the teener’s death, forensic pathologist Dr. Raquel Fortun examines Jemboy’s body to determine cause of death.

August 7, 2023

Jemboy’s remains return to his family in Navotas. His family starts his wake in front of their house.

The teenager’s casket was donated by the late actor JM Canlas, who recently passed away.

August 9, 2023

Colonel Umipig says the six cops tagged in Jemboy’s killing have been relieved from their posts and are currently detained at the Navotas City Police Station. The suspects will later be transferred to the district custodial facility of the Northern Police District (NPD), which covers Navotas City, Umipig adds.

The six police underwent inquest proceedings before the Navotas City prosecutor’s office, and the family already filed a homicide complaint against them, the Navotas City police chief says.

Umipig refuses to disclose the cops’ names, saying the police asked that their names not be disclosed.

PNP Internal Affairs Service (IAS) Inspector General Alfegar Triambulo, whose office probes violations committed by cops, orders the NPD’s internal affairs service to probe into the teen’s killing. Triambulo says the local IAS is in the pre-charge investigation phase, meaning, it is already studying additional possible charges.

August 10, 2023

The Department of Migrant Workers (DMW) announces it will send Jemboy’s mother Rodaliza back to the country. She works as an Overseas Filipino Worker in Qatar.

The DMW and Overseas Workers Welfare Administration say they will provide Rodaliza with P100,000 financial assistance, and will shoulder Jemboy’s funeral and burial expenses.

Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) chief Benhur Abalos, who oversees the PNP, visits Jemboy’s wake.

August 11, 2023

Jemboy’s mother arrives in the country and heads back to their home in Navotas for her son’s wake.

Flower, Flower Arrangement, Plant
MOURNING. Rodaliza Baltazar, mother of Jemboy, is emotional when she sees the casket of her son in Barangay NBBS Kaunlaran in Navotas City on August 11, 2023.

Umipig confirms to Rappler that the PNP has relieved 27 cops – one officer and 26 non-commissioned officers – stationed at Navotas City police sub-station 4. The order takes effect immediately, says the police chief.

The relieved cops will undergo refresher courses and training focused on rules of engagement and the PNP’s operations procedures.

The Navotas City police chief also confirms that an administrative case will be filed against the two ground commanders who served as heads of the six cops. Umipig adds that the criminal complaint against the cops was lowered from homicide to reckless imprudence resulting in homicide.

The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) issues a statement and expresses concern over Jemboy’s killing. The commission, which has the constitutional mandate to investigate alleged abuses committed by government forces, says its separate probe is already ongoing.

The CHR also urges the PNP to remind cops about the appropriate use of force based on the PNP’s operating manual.

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Navotas teen died due to brain injuries, with drowning as ‘contributory cause’

Navotas teen died due to brain injuries, with drowning as ‘contributory cause’

Fortun tells Rappler that Jemboy died from “craniocerebral injuries due to perforating gunshot of the head, with asphyxia from drowning as contributory cause.” The forensic pathologist tagged Jemboy’s killing as homicide because if he had not fallen into the water, there could have been a chance for him to survive since “the brain injury was not immediately fatal.”

Fortun says the teeanger also sustained a gunshot wound in the hand – a defensive injury – which indicates that Baltazar tried to defend himself when the cops shot at him. 

The forensic pathologist’s findings corroborate Jessa’s narration. Jessa earlier told Rappler that her brother was shot at the back of the neck, and the bullet exited through his nose. Jessa corroborated Fortun’s findings about a gunshot wound in his hand.

The DILG announces that Abalos will meet with the PNP officers to discuss the police’s operational procedure.

August 13, 2023

Forensic pathologist Dr. Raquel Fortun on X, formerly Twitter, sounds the alarm after Navotas police visited her to ask for her report on Jemboy’s autopsy.

Navotas City police chief Colonel Allan Umipig says that they visited Fortun’s office to ask for a copy of the autopsy results upon the request of prosecutors. They also sent a letter.

August 14, 2023

Navotas police chief Umipig says the body camera worn by policemen during the killing of Jemboy was turned off. This eliminates another potential source of evidence in identifying those who fired the shots.

Umipig admits that this is not the first time that body-worn cameras were turned off during police operations.

The PNP also names six cops involved in the killing, and says that they face a criminal complaint for reckless imprudence resulting in homicide. The two ground commanders who served as leaders of the six cops are facing an administrative case before the Internal Affairs Service of the Northern Police District.

August 15, 2023

Philippine National Police Internal Affairs Service (PNP IAS) Inspector General Alfegar Triambulo orders the relief of, and filing of administrative charges against, Navotas City police chief Umipig.

The PNP IAS says the directive was based on information that Umipig allegedly instructed the team leader of cops to exclude the names of 11 police officers from their reports.

Umipig will face administrative cases for dishonesty and command responsibility.

August 16, 2023

Seventeen-year-old Jerhode Jemboy Baltazar is laid to rest at the La Loma Cemetery in Caloocan City. He is buried on the same day that marks Kian delos Santos‘ sixth death anniversary.

Caloocan Bishop Pablo Virgilio David, president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), in his homily, admonishes the police, saying that cops are not the law, but enforcers of the law.

Senators Koko Pimentel and Risa Hontiveros file a resolution seeking an inquiry into the killing of Jemboy.

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Jairo Bolledo

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