Body-worn cam turned off during Navotas teen’s slay | Inquirer News

Body-worn cam turned off during Navotas teen’s slay

Body-worn cam turned off during Navotas teen’s slay

GRIEVING MOM Rodaliza Baltazar, mother of Jemboy, weeps during his wake at the family residence in Barangay NBBS Kaunlaran, Navotas City, as her husband Jessie looks on. —LYN RILLON

MANILA, Philippines — The body camera supposedly worn by one of the police officers involved in the killing of 17-year-old Jerhode “Jemboy” Baltazar had been turned off, leaving no evidence of what transpired in his last moments, according to the chief of Navotas City police.

In a radio interview on Monday afternoon, Col. Allan Umipig said his subordinates were all required to use body-worn cameras during operations to ensure transparency and accountability.


But the unnamed police officer who was supposed to wear the camera allegedly left it turned off during the operation that resulted in Jemboy Baltazar’s death, he said.


“It turns out that the one wearing a body cam did not turn it on while the operation was ongoing. That is why I am also [charging] him. I will have him investigated,” Umipig told Radyo5.

Battery ran out

In another interview with dwPM radio, Umipig said the police officer wearing the camera had initially reasoned that the gadget’s battery had run out.

Jemboy Baltazar was shot dead by Navotas police officers who were pursuing a murder suspect on Aug. 2. According to eyewitnesses, the teenager was removing excess water from a boat when the law enforcers shot at him and his friends without warning.

His body was reportedly abandoned and left underwater for three hours in an attempt to conceal the botched operation.

The Philippine National Police later claimed it was a case of mistaken identity, but rights groups assailed the police officers’ excessive use of force.

On Sunday, the National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers-National Capital Region (NUPL-NCR) chapter said the police operatives had acted with treachery and should be charged with murder or homicide instead of reckless imprudence resulting in homicide.



“We refuse to accept and normalize death as a result of a regular police operation. There should be no presumption of regularity when death results from it,” NUPL-NCR said in a statement.

Also on Monday, the PNP finally identified the police officers involved in Baltazar’s death after initially withholding their names.

Those charged were: Police Executive Master Sergeant Roberto Dioso Balais Jr. (Special Weapons and Tactics); Police Staff Sergeant Antonio Balcita Bugayong (Intelligence Service); Police Staff Sergeant Gerry Sabate Maliban (IS); Police Staff Sergeant Nikko Pines Corollo Esquillon (SWAT); Police Corporal Edmark Jake Sorbito Blanco (Sub-Station 4); and Patrolman Benedict Danao Mangada (SS4).

The two ground commanders are also facing administrative charges.

Interior Secretary Benhur Abalos has ordered the PNP to review the level of accountability aside from the operational procedures.

He said the command responsibility could even go higher than the involved police officers’ immediate superiors as some questions about these cases remained unanswered.

Umipig also said police investigators could not find any shell casing at the crime scene.

Forensic pathologist Raquel Fortun, however, cast doubt on such a claim.

The doctor suggested that in the absence of measures to secure the crime scene, the shooter could have removed the casing himself.

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.

“Because no crime scene investigation was done, it was too late? Scene was not protected, others went in? The shooter/s picked up the casings?” she said in a tweet on Saturday.


8 cops in Navotas mistaken identity case face administrative charges

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

Hontiveros condemns Navotas cops’ fatal mistaken identity shooting of teenager

TAGS: Jerhode Jemboy Baltazar, mistaken identity killing, Philippine National Police

© Copyright 1997-2024 | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.