Court issues verdict on cops involved in death of Jemboy

The court has issued the verdict against the six former Navotas policemen who were charged in connection with the shooting and death of 17-year-old Jemboy Baltazar that happened in August 2023.

In the decision of the Navotas City Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 286 this Tuesday, only one of the accused was directly convicted in connection with the death of Baltazar in the lower case of homicide from the original case of murder.


The court awarded a prison sentence of four years against Police Staff Sergeant Gerry Maliban, who appears to have shot the victim.

Four former police officers, Police Executive Master Sergeant Roberto Balais Jr., Police Staff Sergeant Nikko Esquilon, Police Corporal Edmark Jake Blanco, and Patrolman Benedict Mangada, were found guilty of only firing firearms or illegal discharge of firearms.

Meanwhile, another accused, former Police Staff Sergeant Antonio Bugayong, was acquitted in the case; they allegedly had nothing to do with what happened to Baltazar.


Baltazar’s mother, Rodaliza, was disappointed with the court’s verdict.

Court issues verdict on cops involved in death of Jemboy

The police were conducting a pursuit against a suspect in the shooting when they mistook Baltazar for being in a boat and supposed to be fishing.

The police insisted in the affidavit that they only fired into the water and did not intend to hit the victim, who allegedly jumped into the river.


“Ano po ‘yung buhay ng anak ko ano lang, parang aso lang o kaya pusa na ilang ano lang nila paghihirapan tapos parang wala silang ginawa. Parang nasaan po ‘yung hustisya, ‘yung katarungan para sa anak ko?” said Rodaliza.

“Ilang taon lang po ‘yung anak ko, may pangarap pa po siya. Wala na po dahil pinatay po nila ng walang dahilan. Wala pong kaalam-alam ‘yung anak ko, wala pong kasalanan,” she added.

Baltazar was shot in the head and hand and also drowned.

Senator Risa Hontiveros was also disappointed with the court’s decision.

The leadership of the Philippine National Police (PNP) announced that what happened to Baltazar would serve as an “eye-opener” to strictly follow operational procedures.

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