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NCRPO approves dismissal of 8 Navotas cops over Jemboy Baltazar's death

The National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) has approved the dismissal from service of the eight policemen involved in the death of teenager Jemboy Baltazar.

The dismissal of the eight policemen, all from Navotas City, was recommended by the Philippine National Police - Internal Affairs Service (PNP-IAS) following an investigation.

NCRPO chief Police Brigadier General Melencio Nartatez Jr. said he already signed the recommendation from IAS that he received a week ago.

“Napirmahan ko na (I already signed it),” he told GMA News Online.

A report by Mark Makalalad on Super Radyo dzBB said six of the policemen were found guilty of the administrative cases Grave Irregularity in the Performance of Duty and Conduct Unbecoming of a Police Officer.

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

Meanwhile, the two team leaders in the operation, identified as Police Captains Mark Joseph Carpio and Luisito dela Cruz, were found guilty of Grave Neglect of Duty.

Baltazar, 17, died on August 2 while on his way to go fishing after he was shot and killed by Navotas City cops 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 police officers allegedly kept on shooting, prompting Baltazar to dive into the water.

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

Northern Police District (NPD) chief Police Brigadier General Rizalito Gapas earlier said the investigation conducted by Navotas City Police on Baltazars death was "not exhaustive."

Noted forensic pathologist Dr. Raquel Fortun 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. —with Joviland Rita/KBK, GMA Integrated News