| Inquirer News

Jemboy’s family laments eternal loss, cop’s short sentence

/ 05:34 PM February 27, 2024

Mom of slain Navotas teen wants murder raps vs 6 cops

Photo taken on August 16, 2023 shows relatives and friends in a  funeral march to bring Jerhode “Jemboy” Baltazar to his final resting place at the La Loma Catholic Cemetery in Caloocan City. (INQUIRER.net / Faith Argosino

MANILA, Philippines – Police Staff Sergeant Gerry Sabate Maliban will only be in jail for a few years while 17 year-old Jerhode “Jemboy” Baltazar is gone forever,  the teenager’s parents said as they expressed dismay over the verdict of the Navotas Regional Trial Court.

“Siya ay apat na taon lang makukulong pero yung anak ko habang buhay na wala. Pinagtulong-tulungan nila ‘yung anak ko barilin tapos ano? Gano’n lang? Makakalaya lang sila,” Rodaliza Baltazar, Jemboy’s mother said in a press conference


[He will only be in prison for a few years, while my son is gone forever. They shot my son, and now what? They’re just going to be free.]


Maliban was meted with a penalty of up to six years and four months imprisonment, while four of his co-accused, Police Executive Master Sergeant Roberto Dioso Balais Jr., Police Staff Sergeant Nikko Pines Corollo Esquillon (SWAT), Police Corporal Edmark Jake Sorbito Blanco (Sub-station 4), and Patrolman Benedict Danao Mangada (SS4) were found guilty of illegal discharge of firearm.

At the press conference, it was confirmed that the four other police officers were also released  after serving over four months of detention.

Another accused, Police Staff Sergeant Antonio Balcita Bugayong was also released from detention after the Navotas Court acquitted him of murder.

The 17-year old Baltazar was shot and killed on Aug. 2, 2023. He was on a fishing boat with his friends when the police arrived and opened fire.

Baltazar’s death was a case of mistaken identity, as the police thought he was the suspect in a shooting incident in a nearby area that they were chasing.

Baltazar’s mother said herf son’s life was taken away for “no reason at all,” leaving them to grapple with an irreparable loss.


Meanwhile, Department of Justice (DOJ) spokesman Jose Dominic Clavano IV said the agency would continue to support the Baltazar family’s quest for justice.

He said Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla has already order a review of the court’s decision to determine the proper legal action to take.

“Our next step is to file an appeal before the Court of Appeals (CA) through the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG),” Clavano said.

He said the issue of conspiracy, intent to kill, the reasonableness of the action taken by the police and the reaction that the police had when they saw Baltazar trying to flee would be among the arguments that the OSG may raise before the CA.

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Clavano stressed that while the DOJ respects the decision of the trial court, it still needs  to exhaust all available legal remedies in order  deliver justice to the Baltazar family.


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