QC PLEB dismisses cop for shooting a man

Published July 5, 2022, 4:40 PM

by Aaron Homer Dioquino

The Quezon City government announced Tuesday, July 5, that its People’s Law Enforcement Board (PLEB) dismissed a policeman for shooting a man during a scuffle in Barangay Greater Lagro, Quezon City on Feb 18.

The suspect, identified as Senior Master Sgt. Chester Garchitorena, 44, assigned to the Philippine National Police (PNP) Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) in Camp Crame, was found by the PLEB guilty of conduct unbecoming of a police officer and grave misconduct.

Lawyer Rafael Calinisan, PLEB executive officer, said that the cop was dismissed from the service with forfeiture of benefits. He was also disqualified for re-employment in any government service.

Calinisan told Manila Bulletin that Garchitorena’s case stemmed from a scuffle involving the victim, Florose Buenafe, 49, and Garchitorena’s group in Barangay Greater Lagro in the evening of Feb. 18, during the implementation of the election gun ban.

Based on Buenafe’s complaint, he and his friends were drinking in a house on Haring Constantino St. when one Micheal Parayno approached and gestured a dirty finger at them. Parayno left after Buenafe escorted him to his vehicle.

However, Parayno returned to the area along with his friends, including Garchitorena, which led to a scuffle between the groups.

The policeman shot Buenafe in the left leg during the brawl.

Meanwhile, the victim’s friend, Levee Reynoso, 50, a reserve sergeant of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, also sustained a skull fracture after he was beaten by Garchitorena’s group.

“What’s more bothersome in this incident is that sina Buenafe na ang sinugod at binaril, siya pa ang inarestong walang warrant, ikinulong at kinasuhan (What’s more bothersome in this incident is that Buenafe was the one who was approached and shot, yet he was arrested without a warrant, detained and charged). While the policeman went scot-free prior to this case. Just terrible,” Calinisan said.

“The PLEB is open to the possibility of investigating this case further,” he added.

Meanwhile Mayor Joy Belmonte lauded the efforts of the PLEB.

“It is frustrating to know that our police officers forget their sworn duty at times, and allow themselves to be involved in situations like this. Garchitorena acted in a way that is very uncharacteristic for a member of the uniformed service,” the mayor said.

“We are very hopeful since the PLEB in our city is working. Katuwang natin sila in making sure that erring policemen are held accountable”, she added.