Press Release
August 16, 2023

Statement of Senator Risa Hontiveros on the relieving of the Navotas police chief involved in death of Jemboy Baltazar

I welcome the decision of the PNP-IAS to file administrative charges against and relieve the Navotas police chief who covered up the involvement of police officers in the death of Jemboy Baltazar.

However, while this is a first step towards accountability, relief from position is not justice. It is appalling that at least 11 police officers did an overkill shooting of one 17-year old boy. Is it standard procedure for police officers to shoot on sight and not even attempt arrest?

I urge the Ombudsman and Department of Justice to further investigate the Navotas police chief and police officers for obstruction of justice after it was discovered they had altered the report on Baltazar's death to remove the names of the 11 officers.

Oras nang sampahan ng kasong kriminal ang mga pulis na inaabuso ang kapangyarihan nila para maiwasan ang saklaw ng batas.

I will file a resolution to urge a Senate investigation on this issue, para maisiwalat na ang mga "cover up operations" na tila binabastos ang integridad ng PNP at lalo na ang taumbayan.

Beyond this specific case, the Senate should consider investigating if similar tactics have been used in other police operations. In addition to the Supreme Court's rules requiring police body cams, we will also explore the possibility of legislation which will penalize police officers who fail to turn on their body cams during operations. Today, on the death anniversary of Kian delos Santos, we are reminded of the urgent action we need to take on for the many young lives we've lost to trigger-happy and cruel cops.

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