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Investigation procedures violated in Jemboy Baltazar's death —NPD chief

Northern Police District (NPD) chief Police Brigadier General Rizalito Gapas on Thursday said the investigation conducted by Navotas City policemen on the death of 17-year-old Jemboy Baltazar was "not exhaustive."

Interviewed on GMA Integrated News' Unang Balita, Gapas said this was among the factors that led authorities to relieve the concerned policemen from their posts.

"Nakita din natin na meron paglabag sa investigation procedures natin dahil 'yung pag-iimbestiga, nakita natin hindi na-paraffin 'yung mga akusado at mukhang hindi exhaustive 'yung pagkakagawa, 'yung efforts sa imbestigasyon na ito," he said.

(We also see that there is a violation of investigation procedures because we learned that accused cops did not undergo paraffin test and the efforts in the probe seemed not exhaustive.)

Gapas said the police prematurely used their firearms on Baltazar even if the teenager was not showing any threat or aggression.

“Kabilang dito sa haharapin nila first 'yung force continuum na sinasabi. 'Yung violation sa operational procedure natin na dapat meron lang kaukulang approaches sa bawat isang sitwasyon,” he said.

(One of their violations is what we call force continuum. This is a violation in the operational procedure that we should have appropriate approaches in every situation.)

“Sa pagkakataong ito, nakikita natin na walang threat, walang aggression na nagmumula sa inaaresto pero ginagamit agad yung firearms. So isa yang sa mga pananagutan o sasagutin ng ating kapulisan,” Gapas added.

(In this case, we saw that there was no threat and no aggression from the person being arrested but they immediately used their firearms. So our police should be held liable for or explain that.)

The Navotas cops also committed a violation for not using a body-worn camera during the operation, according to Gapas.

Navotas City Police chief Police Colonel Allan Umipig was relieved from his post on Wednesday in connection with the killing of Baltazar by cops due to mistaken identity.

Gapas said Police Colonel Santos Sumingwa Jr. is now the officer-in-charge of the Navotas City Police.

Umipig said he respects the decision but denied that there was a cover-up.


Aside from Umipig, 22 other police personnel were also relieved from their posts.

Philippine National Police-Internal Affairs Service (IAS) recommended complaints against Umipig over alleged dishonesty and command responsibility.

IAS Inspector General Alfegar Triambulo said he sent a directive to the National Capital Region Police Office "to have the Navotas Chief of Police relieved."

Umipig is alleged to have ordered the removal of the names of 11 police officers in the report on the killing of Baltazar, Triambulo had said.

The 11 policemen, meanwhile, will also face complaints for allegedly leaving the teenage victim at the scene and for other violations of police operations procedure, he added.

On August 2, Baltazar was on a small boat on his way to go fishing when he was shot and killed by Navotas City policemen pursuing a shooting suspect in Barangay NBBS Kaunlaran.

A friend who was with Baltazar said they were preparing their boat when a policeman ordered them to get off. They reportedly tried to give themselves up but the policemen allegedly kept on shooting, prompting Baltazar to dive into the water.

The police later claimed it had been a case of mistaken identity. Some of the six policemen who were initially reported involved in the incident said in their affidavits that they fired shots only at the water and that they did not intend to hit Baltazar.

The six were identified as Police Executive Master Sergeant Roberto Balais, Police Staff Sergeant Gerry Maliban, Police Staff Sergeant Antonio Bugayong, Police Staff Sergeant Nikko Esquilon, Police Corporal Eduard Blanco, and Patrolman Benedict Mangada.

The involved policemen have undergone inquest proceedings over complaints of reckless imprudence resulting in homicide.

Authorities are now looking into the possibility of upgrading the complaint to murder.

Baltazar was laid to rest on Wednesday afternoon, August 16. According to his mother, Rodaliza Baltazar, she would reject any offer in exchange for dropping the complaint against the policemen involved in her son's killing.

Forensic pathologist Dr. Raquel Fortun on Saturday said autopsy results revealed that Baltazar also had a gunshot wound on his right hand, indicating that he tried to defend himself.

The autopsy found that Baltazar was hit twice, on the head with an entry wound behind the ear and an exit wound on the nose, while the other shot hit him on the right hand.

According to his death certificate, Baltazar’s cause of death was a gunshot wound to the head, as well as asphyxia from drowning. —KBK, GMA Integrated News