An off-duty police officer is now in hot water for shooting a man during a scuffle in Barangay Greater Lagro, Quezon City.

PSMS Chester Garchitorena is now facing charges of grave misconduct filed by Florose Buenafe before the Quezon City People’s Law Enforcement Board (PLEB) in connection with an incident that occurred on Feb. 18, 2022.

Garchitorena is assigned with the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group in Camp Crame.

Based on his complaint filed on March 18, 2022, Buenafe said he and his friends were drinking at Haring Constantino St. when a sedan carrying Garchitorena’s associates arrived.

Garchitorena’s friends then started a melee while the policeman served as lookout while aboard his parked vehicle nearby.

When the brawl started, Garchitorena called the Barangay Public Safety Officers (BPSO) and walked with them heading to the place of the scuffle. During the altercation, a member of the BPSO witnessed Garchitorena shoot Buenafe in his left leg.

Atty. Rafael Calinisan, PLEB Executive Officer, said they found probable cause against Garchitorena for using a gun during the melee while off-duty, a violation of the Commission on Elections’ gun ban.

Calinisan said violation of the Omnibus Elections Code constitutes grave misconduct under Napolcom Memorandum Circular 2016 – 002.

“We will hear this case and will resolve it with fairness and immediacy,” Calinisan said.

“Sa QC ang pulis ay mabuti. They are our partners in community building. Nagkataon lang na may nabubulok na kamatis, dapat natin silang panagutin,” he further stressed, adding citizens can file their complaint before the PLEB.

Mayor Joy Belmonte, for her part, expressed dismay over the incident, saying she’s “frustrated to hear that some of our police officers take part in incidents that disturb the peace of our city.”

“With these incidents happening, we are grateful that we have our PLEB which makes sure that erring police officers are held accountable. The PLEB is our partner in cleaning the ranks of police officers in our city,” Belmonte said.