The Navotas City Regional Trial Court (RTC) has ordered the arrest of six dismissed police officers implicated in the death of 17-year-old Jerhode Jemboy Baltazar in a case of mistaken identity.
In an order dated Oct. 3 and made public Wednesday, RTC Branch 286 Judge Pedro Dabu Jr. said the court found probable cause to issue a warrant of arrest against Executive Master Sgt. Roberto Dioso, Cpl. Edmard Blanco, Pat. Benedict Mangada, and Staff Sgts. Gerry Maliban, Antonio Bugayong, Jr., and Nikko Esquillon.
“Considering that the accused stand charged with murder, they are not entitled to bail as a matter of course,” the order added.
Navotas City prosecutors filed the murder complaint against the suspects on Sept. 15.
The National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) earlier approved the Philippine National Police-Internal Affairs Service’s (PNP-IAS) recommendation to dismiss the respondents from the service over the killing of Baltazar.
On Aug. 2, the police officers launched a pursuit operation against a murder suspect when they chanced upon Baltazar, who was then onboard a boat.
They then commanded Baltazar and his companion to surrender. However, the victim jumped into the river, prompting law enforcers to fire resulting in his death.
The police officers later admitted that Baltazar was not the suspect they were looking for but a certain Reynaldo Bolivar.