Slain teen’s mom blames PNP for unfair court ruling

Mom of slain teen Jemboy Baltazar blames PNP for unfair court ruling

PHOTO: Rodaliza Baltazar mother of slain teen Jemboy Baltazar STORY: Mom of slain teen Jemboy Baltazar blames PNP for unfair court ruling

Rodaliza Baltazar weeps as she testifies before the Senate on the death of her son Jemboy on Tuesday, August 29, 2023. (INQUIRER PHOTO)

MANILA, Philippines — The mother of slain 17-year-old Jerhode “Jemboy” Baltazar on Wednesday blamed the Philippine National Police for the lighter sentences and acquittal handed down by a court against the six policemen involved in the teenager’s fatal shooting in August 2023.

“It’s as if they killed my son all over again because of the decision of the court regarding the six policemen,” Rodaliza Baltazar said in a press briefing at the Senate.


“This is just too painful for our family. It’s really difficult to get justice when you are poor,” the grieving mother said in between sobs.


Rodaliza and her husband, Jessie Baltazar, met with Sen. Risa Hontiveros a day after the Navotas City Regional Trial Court Branch 286 gave its verdict.

Hontiveros had pushed the Senate inquiry into the botched police operation near a river in Navotas on Aug. 2, 2023, that resulted in the killing of Jemboy.

During one of the hearings, the victim’s friend, witness Sonny Boy Augustilo, said the police officers had wanted him to issue an affidavit claiming that Jemboy, who was unarmed, was carrying a gun and illegal drugs purportedly to show that he had engaged them in a shootout.

The opposition senator said while the court ruling should be respected, it only mirrored the worsening culture of impunity in the country, which had allowed abusive law enforcers to get away with their crimes literally.

“Five of the six policemen will be freed while the other one will be jailed for only four years. On the other hand, (Jemboy) had lost his life and his dreams,” Hontiveros lamented.

According to Baltazar, they could have secured the conviction of all the six accused had the police officers who initially investigated the case done their job without prejudice.


No thorough search where Jemboy was shot

For one, she pointed out, the police investigators did not thoroughly search the boat where Jemboy was shot and killed.

Had they inspected the boat, the policemen could have recovered a bullet slug that would have bolstered the allegation that the six accused directly shot the victim and Augustilo, contrary to their claim that they only fired into the water.

“From the start, the (killing of my son) was not investigated properly,” Baltazar said.

The victim’s family sued the six Navotas policemen for murder, but the court instead found Police Staff Sgt. Gerry Maliban guilty of homicide for shooting Jemboy, whom they had mistaken for another suspect they were supposedly pursuing at the time.

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

Maliban was sentenced to up to six years in prison and also ordered to pay P50,000 in moral and civil damages.

One of the accused, Police Staff Sgt. Antonio Balcita Bugayong was acquitted due to the failure of the prosecution to prove that he had fired his gun during the operation.

Four other PNP officers — Police Executive Master Sgt. Roberto Dioso Balais Jr., Police Staff Sgt. Nikko Pines Corollo Esquilon, Police Cpl. Edmard Jake Blanco and Patrolman Benedict Danao Mangada — were found guilty of the lesser offense of illegal discharge of firearms.

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They were sentenced to a maximum of four months and one day in prison.

TAGS: Jerhode Jemboy Baltazar, Navotas City Regional Trial Court, Philippine National Police, slain teen

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