Statement of the Commission on Human Rights welcoming the DOJ’s filing of murder charges against 6 police officers allegedly involved in the death of teen Jemboy Baltazar

Statement of the Commission on Human Rights welcoming the DOJ’s filing of murder charges against 6 police officers allegedly involved in the death of teen Jemboy Baltazar

The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) welcomes the decision made by the Department of Justice (DOJ) to file murder charges against six Navotas police officers implicated in the killing of 17-year-old Jerhode Jemboy Baltazar.

This swift development on the case is an important step towards ensuring justice and accountability, especially as it involves law enforcement agents. We commend the efforts of the DOJ in conducting a comprehensive review of the case, which has led to the decision to file murder charges against the six police officers allegedly involved in the death of Jemboy.

The senseless death of Jemboy underscores the importance of holding law enforcement agents accountable for their actions to curb violations and abuses that breach fundamental rights. As the country’s national human rights institution, CHR firmly stresses that positions of authority, including law enforcers, are not above the law. Those who committed alleged violations must be held responsible considering that they made an oath to serve in accordance with the rules and standards required of police officers.

CHR is hopeful that the DOJ’s legal action will serve as a strong message that any alleged human rights violations by law enforcement officers will not be tolerated in our society. Aside from its crucial importance in delivering justice to Jemboy and his family, it can also help restore public trust in our law enforcement agencies.

The Commission also expects that the case amplifies the importance of abiding with established rules of operations that adhere to human rights based policing to prevent violations that denigrate human rights, especially the utmost right to life. We trust that the Philippine National Police will continue to strengthen programs and trainings that will imbue its ranks with renewed commitment to human rights practice and values in the conduct of their duty.

CHR will continue to monitor this case closely and to provide support in aid of ascertaining justice. As we mark this positive development, it is equally important to ensure continued commitment to due process, transparency, and accountability throughout the legal proceedings. ###