Body of teen shot in Navotas abandoned by police, victim’s kin says | Inquirer News

Body of teen shot in Navotas abandoned by police, victim’s kin says

By: - Reporter / @FArgosinoINQ
/ 11:52 PM August 10, 2023

The body of teen who was shot and killed by six Navotas policemen after mistaking him for a murder suspect, was reportedly abandoned and left submerged underwater for three hours.

Jerhode Jemboy Baltazar’s wake in Barangay NBBS Kaunlaran, Navotas City. / Faith Argosino

MANILA, Philippines — The body of 17-year-old Jerhode Jemboy Baltazar, who was shot and killed by six Navotas policemen after mistaking him for a murder suspect, was reportedly abandoned and left submerged underwater for three hours.

His sister Jessa lamented this as she expressed her growing distrust towards the police force, saying that Baltazar could have lived if only the cops acted immediately and tried to save him.


“Hindi po makatarungan ang ginawa po nila. Masasabi ko na parang nagiwan lang sila ng aso na namatay. Ganun po talaga yung exact. Bali, three hours po siya sa ilalim po. Kung hindi pa po siya kinuha [ng iba], wala po. Baka naanod po siya sa ibang lugar,” she told reporters on Thursday at the wake of his brother in Barangay NBBS Kaunlaran in Navotas City.


(What they did was not fair. It was as if they just left a dog that died. That’s how I describe it. He was underwater for three hours. If his body was not retrieved by someone else, maybe it drifted to another place.)

“Nag-antay lang po sila dun po sa tulay. Pero nung natagalan, umalis lang po sila,” she added.

(They just waited there on the bridge. But after a while, they just left.)

Jumped out of fear

Meanwhile, Tonyo (not his real name), Baltazar’s childhood friend and the person with him on the boat, said they thought it would just be another day for them to make a living when the cops appeared in the area around 2 p.m.

According to Navotas police chief Colonel Allan Umipig, the six law enforcers started shooting when they thought Baltazar — who was mistaken as a murder suspect — was trying to escape.

However, contrary to this report, Tonyo said that after arriving, the cops immediately aimed their guns at them and ordered them to come out. But before they could respond, the policemen had already started firing at them, prompting Baltazar to jump off the boat out of fear.


“Sabi ko sa kanya wag ka tumalon wala tayong kasalanan nag-li-limas lang tayo eh. Tsaka kahit anong sigaw po namin, wala talaga eh kasi ang lakas ng mga putok ng baril,” Tonyo told in a separate interview.

(I told him not to jump. We are not guilty and were just bailing the water out of the boat. But no matter how much we shouted, the policemen could not hear us. The gunshots were too loud.)

“Dalawang beses niyang ginawa nagtangkang tumalon. Nung una po, Nahila ko pa po siya. Nung pangalawa po, hindi na nadulas po ako nabitawan ko po siya,” he added.

(He made two attempts to jump. At first, I managed to pull him back, but the second time, I slipped and lost my grip on him.)

Likewise, Tonyo said the cops just waited for the body to float, but even before Baltazar’s body resurfaced the policemen had already left.

The victim’s other sister, Jeraldine, said Baltazar’s body was retrieved by his uncle around 5 p.m. They waited for about three hours before Scene of the Crime Operatives of the Philippine National Police arrived at the scene.

After which, Jeraldine said Baltazar’s body was picked up for autopsy at 10 p.m. It was only at around 12 midnight when authorities escorted and briefed them about the shooting incident at the Northern Police District headquarters in Caloocan.

A step closer to justice

Although still grieving, Baltazar’s sister said they are hopeful that justice would be served for his death, pointing out that criminal and administrative cases have already been filed against the six policemen.

Umipig who was also at the wake, said the cops underwent inquest proceedings as early as August 3 and are already behind bars.

“Sinama po namin kanina yung family ng victim upang mapatunayan na totoong nakakulong sila,” Umipig said.

(Earlier, we took the victim’s family with us to prove that the cops are behind bars.)

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He also revealed that a criminal complaint of homicide was already against the cops.


6 cops involved in killing a teen in Navotas face homicide charges

Cops in teen slay admit mistake, won’t go scot-free – PNP

TAGS: Navotas, shot, Teen

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