Navotas teen killing a ‘remnant of drug war impunity — bishop

August 16, 2023 - 5:36 PM
Rodaliza Baltazar, the OFW mother of slain teenager Jemboy Baltazar, cries upon seeing the body of her son at their home in Navotas City on Aug, 11, 2023. (Vincent Go via CBCP News)

The killing of a 17-year old boy by the police due to a supposed mistaken identity was a ‘remnant of the impunity’ in the law enforcement system during the drug war of the previous administration, a Catholic bishop said.

Bishop Pablo Virgilio David of Kalookan deplored the fatal shooting of Jemboy Baltazar by Navotas City cops, in what he described as “cold-blooded” way.

“This is an obvious remnant of the kind of impunity that characterized the behavior of our police during those dark years of the infamous ‘war against illegal drugs’ waged by the previous regime,” David said.

“As bishop of Kalookan, whose jurisdiction includes Navotas city, I denounce this murder in the strongest terms possible,” he said.

Baltazar was aboard a boat on his way to go fishing when he was shot in the head and killed by cops in Navotas on August 2.

Authorities later on claimed the incident was a case of mistaken identity as the police were pursuing a suspect of a shooting incident.

A total of 27 cops of Navotas have been relieved from their posts following the killing incident.

The bishop, however, said that “deliberately killing people in cold blood—even if they might be suspected of engaging in drugs or criminal activities—is already plain murder, not just homicide.”

“It is not just immoral, it is plainly illegal,” said David, who heads the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines.

The church leader called on the parishes and mission stations in the diocese to express their solidarity with the bereaved family and express a strong condemnation of the incident.