Brosas disappointed with verdict on cops in Jemboy Baltazar slay

Brosas disappointed with court’s verdict on cops in Jemboy Baltazar slay

By: - Reporter / @FArgosinoINQ
/ 06:41 PM February 27, 2024

MANILA, Philippines — Several lawmakers on Tuesday expressed disappointment with the verdict of the Navotas Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 286 on six police officers involved in the killing of 17-year-old Jerhode “Jemboy” Baltazar on August 2 last year.

Gabriela Party-list Representative Arlene Brosas called the decision a “glaring injustice” as she pointed out that the existence of clear evidence was enough to implicate all officers.

“We stand in solidarity with the family of Jemboy Baltazar as we express our disappointment with the recent verdict in his case,” Brosas said in a statement.


“Justice was brutally denied for Jemboy Baltazar. The alarming leniency towards the officers sends a chilling message that law enforcement can act with impunity, perpetuating a culture of fear in our communities,” she added.


Likewise, ACT Teachers Rep. France Castro said she was dismayed with the verdict, as she echoed Baltazar’s mother’s sentiments.

Rodaliza Baltazar pointed out that her son would be gone forever while one of the police officers who were linked in his death will only be imprisoned for a few years.

“The light punishment handed down to the convicted officer raises serious concerns about the accountability of law enforcement personnel. […] It fails to reflect the gravity of the crime committed and the irreplaceable loss suffered by the Baltazar family,” the lawmaker said in a separate statement.

“The court’s decision to acquit Police Staff Sergeant Antonio Bugayong and convict the other officers for the illegal discharge of firearms further underscores the need for a thorough review of the case and a reassessment of the judicial process to ensure that justice is adequately served,” she stressed.

Earlier on Tuesday, the Natotas RTC found Staff Sergeant Gerry Sabate Maliban (IS) guilty of homicide and was meted with a penalty of up to six years and four months of imprisonment with P100,000 in civil liability and for moral damages.

READ: One of six Navotas cops guilty of homicide in Jemboy’s death – court 


The four other police officers — Executive Master Sergeant Roberto Dioso Balais Jr., Staff Sergeant Nikko Pines Corollo Esquillon (SWAT), Corporal Edmark Jake Sorbito Blanco (Sub-station 4), and Patrolman Benedict Danao Mangada (Sub-station 4) — were found guilty of illegal discharge of firearms and were meted with a penalty of four months and one day of imprisonment.

On the other hand, Staff Sergeant Antonio Balcita Bugayong (Intelligence Service) was acquitted.

According to the lawmaker, the case seemed to “illuminate the deep-rooted flaws within the country’s justice system.”

“This failure to hold perpetrators accountable for the loss of innocent lives perpetuates a vicious cycle of violence and injustice,” she said.

“We stand firm in our demand for accountability and thorough investigation into this case. Those responsible for Jemboy’s death must be held fully accountable, and we urge swift and transparent action to ensure justice for him and his family,” Brosas added.


For its part, the Philippines National Police (PNP) said it respects and welcomes the decision of the court, adding that the incident serves as an eye-opener for their personnel “to adhere to police operational procedure.”

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It likewise vowed to enhance its training, protocols, and oversight mechanisms to prevent similar incidents from occurring in the future.

TAGS: Arlene Brosas, Jerhode Jemboy Baltazar

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