CRIMINAL charges of alarm and scandal and indiscriminate firing and an administrative complaint for less grave misconduct were filed against the policeman caught drunk outside a bar on Gen. Maxilom Avenue, Cebu City.

PO3 Neri Cahimat is three years shy of retirement.

Criminal Intelligence Branch Chief Romeo Santander said Cahimat had a good work ethic.

But because of the cases he is facing, Cahimat has been relieved from his post as desk officer of the Mabolo Police Station.

The criminal complaints were filed before the Cebu City Prosecutor’s Office yesterday afternoon while the administrative complaint was forwarded to the Investigation and Detective Management Branch (IDMB).

Misconduct

The administrative charge was for being drunk and disorderly while off-duty, offenses that fall under less grave misconduct.

After the incident last Sunday morning, Santander directed his intelligence units to check Cahimat's background.

“He's a quiet policeman. In fact, he never got involved into any trouble, based on our investigation,” Santander told reporters yesterday.

But Cahimat was reportedly demoted from the rank of SPO1 to PO3 because of a case from

several years ago.

Santander said he will have to check the reason behind the demotion.

Fuente Police Station Chief Wildemar Tiu said Cahimat surrendered his service firearm, a super .38 pistol, which was provided by the local government unit.

Witnesses

But Tiu said it was not the same firearm used in the reported indiscriminate firing since according to witnesses' accounts, the gunshot was that of a .45 pistol.

There were no empty shells or slugs recovered in the area.

But while there was no physical evidence in the vicinity, Tiu said at least two witnesses can attest that Cahimat used his firearm indiscriminately.

“This is challenging for us because we cannot provide the firearm used by Cahimat but hopefully the witnesses’ testimonies will be enough,” said Tiu in an interview.

The witnesses are two guards on Gen. Maxilom Ave. They are Rey Requizo, the bar’s security guard and Jesusisto Barbosa, Gen. Maxilom Square’s security officer.

It was Barbosa who reported the incident to Tiu through a text message.

Cahimat was drinking with some friends last Sunday when he reportedly pulled out his firearm and fired at the ground.

For fear that others might get hurt, the security guards sought the help of the police, who promptly arrested Cahimat.

Tiu said it was only at the Fuente Police Station where they learned that Cahimat was a policeman.

When earlier sought for comment, Cahimat only said he knew nothing about the incident.