Relatives and friends of a 17-year-old who was mistakenly killed by the Philippine police gathered in a celebration of a Holy Mass in Navotas City on Wednesday.
Jerhode Jemboy Baltazar tragically passed away after the police opened fire while he was removing accumulated water in his boat on August 2.
On Thursday, the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) vowed to conduct a transparent investigation, adding that the officers involved have taken responsibility for the error.
Brig. Gen. Jose Melencio Nartatez Jr., Director of NCRPO, said that the incident was purely the mistake of the officers.
The six police officers involved in the killing of Baltazar are already in jail and are now facing criminal charges.
According to Police Colonel Allan Umipig, head of Navotas City police, there was a pursuit operation against a suspect in a shooting incident.
When police officers arrived at the scene, Baltazar jumped off the boat and swam in the river. Then the cops “made the wrong decision to fire their guns,” according to the police chief.
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Human rights advocates said the incident is a “manifestation of the prevailing culture of impunity” that has been “nurtured” during the administration of former President Rodrigo Duterte and “is being continued” by the present government.
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