CHR now probing Navotas mistaken identity incident: One death is too many | Inquirer News

CHR now probing Navotas mistaken identity incident: One death is too many

/ 04:12 PM August 11, 2023

The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) on Wednesday said it was investigating several cases of rape and murder of young women in Cebu City, Negros Oriental and Naga City—the fourth consecutive month in the year that the commission recorded cases of violence against women and girls.

Commission on Human Rights / INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines — The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) has launched its own investigation into the Navotas City incident where police officers killed a 17-year-old boy whom they mistook for being involved in a shooting incident.

CHR, in a statement Friday, said they are gravely concerned about the issue, saying that they hope that the latest incident sparks reforms within the Philippine National Police — as one death is still too many.


“In pursuance of our constitutional mandate, CHR is already conducting an independent motu proprio investigation into the incident. The investigation seeks to ensure accountability for the alleged arbitrary deprivation of life of a boy committed by State agents, particularly by six police officers of Navotas City police,” CHR said.


“CHR extends its condolences to the family and friends of the victim. And we hope that current investigations result in justice and accountability, as well as necessary reforms within the PNP to prevent similar incidents from happening. One death is one too many,” it added.

CHR was referring to the death of Jerhode Jemboy Baltazar, who was killed during a follow-up operation of the Navotas police last August 2. According to reports, operatives received a tip that a murder suspect was sighted at a river near Balanse Street in Navotas’ Barangay North Bay Boulevard South (NBBS).

When police officers apprehended Baltazar and his friends, who were supposed to go fishing that night, the victim supposedly jumped into the water, prompting police officers to open fire at him.

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

The police officers involved apparently admitted their mistake. In response, the PNP leadership assured that the cops would not go scot-free.

Interior Secretary Benjamin Abalos also ordered a review of PNP procedures after the incident.

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

READ: Abalos wants review of PNP procedures after Navotas teen’s slay 

CHR said that they welcome the actions from the PNP, but at the same time urge the police organization to remind their personnel on the right use of force.


“CHR notes the recent actions of the Philippine National Police directing an internal investigation into the alleged killing. PNP reported that a police executive master sergeant, three staff sergeants, two corporals, and one patrolman involved in the shooting are now facing administrative and homicide charges. The involved police officers are also now disarmed and detained,” CHR said.

“We urge the PNP to remind their officers on the appropriate use of force as comprehensively discussed in their own manual of operations. The provision on the force continuum, in particular, reminds police officers to apply ‘reasonable responses commensurate to the level of suspect/law offender’s resistance to effect compliance, arrest, and other law enforcement actions’,” it added.

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

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TAGS: CHR, Commission on Human Rights, Philippine National Police

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