Top Navotas cop sacked over probe of teen’s killing
MANILA, Philippines — The chief of Navotas City police station, whose own personnel “mistakenly” killed a 17-year-old teen while pursuing murder suspects, was removed from his post, with the total number of police officers facing criminal and administrative sanctions ballooning to 23.
In a memorandum on Tuesday but released only on Wednesday, National Capital Region Police Office chief Brig. Gen. Jose Melencio Nartatez ordered the relief of Col. Allan Umipig and the filing of administrative complaints against him, based on the recommendation of Brig. Gen. Rizalito Gapas, acting district director of the Northern Police District.
The PNP Internal Affairs Service chief Alfegar Triambulo also recommended the filing of an administrative case against Umipig for allegedly ordering the exclusion of 11 police officers from the report on the Aug. 2 killing of 17-year-old Jerhode “Jemboy” Baltazar.
While he has no choice but to comply with the order, Umipig denied that he ordered the exclusion of the 11 cops from the report, saying he only based his report on the team leader’s testimony and that he himself had criminal charges filed against his own men.
Nartatez also ordered the sacking of investigation unit officials Capt. Juanito Arabejo and Chief Master Sgt. Aurelito Galvez for failing to conduct proper procedures to collect and preserve evidence.
Also relieved from their posts and facing criminal charges were Captains Mark Joseph Carpio, Luisito dela Cruz, and Luis Rufo; Executive Master Sgt. Jose Elizalde Oriendo; Staff Sergeants Rondell Sauza, Johnvir Tagacay, Melvin Napay, Mervin Villanueva, Rolan Orbita, Kenneth Amangan, Jorge Boco Jr., and Ever Layco; and Corporals Aldrin Pascual and Mark Joseph Quillan.
Identified for 1st time
The six involved Navotas police officers were also identified for the first time: Executive Master Sgt. Roberto Balais Jr.; Staff Sergeants Antonio Bugayong Jr., Gerry Maliban and Nikko Pines Esquilon; Cpl. Edmar Jake Blanco and Patrolman Benedict Mangada.
They are detained at the Navotas police station and charged with reckless imprudence resulting in homicide before the Navotas prosecutor’s office.
Triambulo said the administrative case for grave charges against the six police officers is already at the summary dismissal stage.