6 cops in teen’s death charged with murder
The Department of Justice (DOJ) has filed murder charges against the six Navotas City police officers involved in the fatal shooting of 17-year-old Jerhode Jemboy Baltazar.
“It was discussed at the DOJ and we have it evaluated so that the appropriate case will be filed,” Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla said at a press briefing on Monday afternoon.
“We did not agree to the filing of homicide cases that were initially supposed to be filed against them. Murder charges were filed instead,” he added.
Charged with murder in the Navotas City Regional Trial Court were: Staff Sergeants Gerry Maliban, Antonio Bugayong Jr., Nikko Pines Esquillon; Executive Master Sgt. Roberto Balais Jr.; Cpl. Edmard Jake Blanco; Pat. Benedict Mangada; and several other John Does.
The incident happened on Aug. 2 when police officers saw Baltazar and a friend on a boat preparing to go fishing when the law enforcers allegedly fired at both of them.
The police claimed it was a case of mistaken identity.
The teenager’s friend, who survived unharmed, said they tried to surrender, but the officers kept shooting, prompting Baltazar to jump into the river.
According to the information filed in court, the accused conspired and shot Baltazar, which inflicted gunshot wounds on the back of his head while he was in the act of jumping and even while under the water.
The accused also surrounded Baltazar and intentionally positioned themselves at a vantage point rendering the victim without means to defend himself, which ultimately resulted in his death, it added. INQ