Trigger-happy police: The killing of Jemboy Baltazar

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, August 19) — An innocent life of 17-year-old Jemboy Baltazar, who was just cleaning his fishing boat, was taken by members of the Navotas police in a snap after he was mistakenly killed on Aug. 2.

The incident happened six years after the death of then Grade 11 student Kian delos Santos, who was killed by Caloocan policemen in an anti-drug operation in 2017.

Here's the timeline of events before and after Baltazar's death:

August 2, Wednesday

More than 20 Navotas police officers reportedly arrived on Babanse Street in Phase 1C around 1:30 pm., looking for an alleged murder suspect.

A few moments later, someone told them that the alleged suspect was on the boat where Jemboy Balatazar and his friend Mario were, cleaning their fishing boat.

Even though the police officers failed to verify the target, they opened fire at Baltazar.

Police later on realized that Baltazar was not the suspect they were hunting down and declared it a case of mistaken identity.

August 7, Monday

Remains of Baltazar were brought home to his family and friends in Navotas. They started Jemboy's wake in front of their house. Reports about his death started to circulate on social media.

The casket of JM Canlas, younger brother of actors Jerom and Elijah Canlas and who recently passed away, was donated to Baltazar.

August 9, Wednesday

The six personnel of the Navotas police involved in the killing were relieved from their posts.

Navotas City police chief Col. Allan Umipig said the six are facing homicide and administrative complaints for killing Baltazar.

August 10, Thursday

The Department of Migrant Workers (DMW) announced that the mother of Baltazar will be repatriated from Qatar.

The DMW and the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration also said they will jointly provide ₱100,000 financial assistance to the family and will shoulder the funeral and burial expenses of Baltazar.

August 11, Friday

Baltazar's mother arrived in the country.

The National Police District confirmed that personnel of the Navotas City Police Station Sub-Station 4, except for those with vital administrative functions, have been relieved following Baltazar's death. The NPD said they will undergo a "comprehensive re-training and refresher course."

Interior Secretary Benhur Abalos also called on the Philippine National Police to revisit its standard operating procedure to avoid similar incidents.

August 14, Monday

Policemen involved in the killing of Baltazar were unable to present footage from their body cameras during the incident, according to National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) Director Melencio Nartatez.

On the same day, Abalos clarified that the uninvited police visit to forensic pathologist Raquel Fortun's office over the weekend is no cause for alarm.

Fortun is known to investigate the cases of suspected victims of extrajudicial killings.

Members of the Baltazar family were also alarmed when Navotas cops in civilian clothes visited Baltazar's wake.

Umipig argued that the policemen did not wear their uniform to remain inconspicuous.

August 15, Tuesday

Umipig was relieved from his post. The NCRPO cited irregularity and neglect of duty on the part of the PNP personnel as none of them used body cameras during the incident.

It added that the police involved failed to justify the use of firearms and observe proper procedure during armed confrontations.

The Philippine National Police's Internal Affairs Service also ordered the filing of charges against Umipig and 11 more officers over the fatal shooting of Baltazar.

The Navotas police chief will face charges of dishonesty and command responsibility, while the 11 policemen will be charged for abandoning the victim and other possible violations of police operational procedure.

August 16, Wednesday

Senate Minority Leader Koko Pimentel and Senator Risa Hontiveros have filed separate resolutions seeking an investigation into the death of Baltazar.

Hontiveros' Senate Resolution 742 will also cover laws, rules, and regulations on police engagement, use of firearms, and criminal liability of police officers.

Pimentel, meanwhile, cited in his Senate Resolution 736 that the use of firearms by the police is only justified if the offender poses imminent danger of causing death or injury to the officer or other persons.

None of which justified Baltazar's death.