THE Department of Justice (DOJ) on Monday announced the filing of murder charges against six Navotas City policemen in connection with the killing of a teenager who was believed to be a victim of mistaken identity last August 2.
The information for murder under Article 248 of the Revised Penal Code was filed before the Regional Trial Court of Navotas City against Police Staff Sergeants (PSSg) Gerry Maliban, Nikko Pines Esquilon, and Antonio Bugayong Jr, Police Executive Master Sergeant (PEMS) Roberto Balais, Jr., Police Corporal (PCpl) Edmard Jade Blanco, Patrolman Benedict Mangada and several John Does.
The recommendation to file murder charges against the said policemen was signed by City Prosecutor Armando Cavalida and Assistant City Prosecutor Arvin Carael.
The said policemen did not undergo preliminary investigation owing to their refusal to execute a waiver under Article 125 of the Revised Penal Code.
However, the case was referred for further investigation and the complainants and witnesses were personally examined under oath.
Following the conduct of a much thorough investigation, the Department of Justice found “reasonable ground to believe that a crime was committed; and that the accused is probably guilty thereof.”
The murder case stemmed from the death of 17-year-old Jerhode Jemboy Baltazar, who was allegedly fired upon by the said officers while he was cleaning a boat at the Navotas River on August 2 along with his friend, Sonny Boy.
The policemen reportedly mistook Baltazar as the shooting suspect they were searching for.