Six police officers in the Philippine capital are being investigated for the fatal sh00ting of a teenager who they mistook for a m*rder suspect.
Jerhode Baltazar drowned after being shot in the head last Wednesday in a fishing town in suburban Manila.
As authorities attempted to arrest him, he jumped into the sea. Given that the 17-year-old was unarmed, authorities admitted it was a “lapse in judgment” for the officers to kill him.
“They cannot claim self-defense. “They were unable to establish that the victim resisted arrest,” Navotas city police commander Col Allan Umipig told local television.
It was unclear what led authorities to assume the boy was the individual they sought. They had been entrusted with apprehending a suspect in a different incident that had also occurred in Navotas.
The six cops were removed from their duties and imprisoned as authorities investigated whether they could be prosecuted with homicide, a crime punishable by up to 20 years under Philippine law. Local news outlets have extensively covered the sh00ting.
Jesse Baltazar, the victim’s father, was shown on social media hugging his son’s body after it was retrieved out of the ocean.
Mr. Balazar was perplexed about why his kid was wounded in the head when the police officers said they had fired warning shots.
The victim’s mother, who works in Qatar, was able to visit her son’s casket through video conference. She informed local television that she had no idea her next remittance would be for her son’s burial.
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Jeraldine Tolentino, the victim’s sister, also told local media that she declined a 50,000-peso ($1,000; £698) bribe to deter the family from pursuing the case.
In recent years, law enforcement in the Philippines has refuted charges of extrajudicial killings of criminal suspects, particularly those implicated in illegal drugs. They have both denied any misconduct.
Alleged summary executions of individuals who allegedly resisted arrest surged throughout former President Rodrigo Duterte’s administration, which ended in mid-2022. He is under investigation by the International Criminal Court, which he refuses to acknowledge. Mr. Duterte is currently retired and residing in Davao City.
Critics claim his tough attitude on crime has created an environment conducive to police misbehavior. On the other hand, he has justified his characteristic drive as essential for keeping Filipinos safe from street violence.
Ferdinand Marcos Jr., Duterte’s successor, has scaled back his anti-narcotics crusade. On the other hand, state actors have been suspected of being involved in high-profile deaths, such as that of journalist Percival Mabasa in November 2022.
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Tyler is a passionate journalist with a keen eye for detail and a deep love for uncovering the truth. With years of experience covering a wide range of topics, Tyler has a proven track record of delivering insightful and thought-provoking articles to readers everywhere. Whether it’s breaking news, in-depth investigations, or behind-the-scenes looks at the world of politics and entertainment, Tyler has a unique ability to bring a story to life and make it relevant to audiences everywhere. When he’s not writing, you can find Tyler exploring new cultures, trying new foods, and soaking up the beauty of the world around him.