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A ROOKIE policeman died after taking a bullet in the neck in an accident inside a boarding house on Sanciangko St., Barangay Pahina Central, Cebu City past 10 p.m. Monday.

PO1 Ronnie Bajado Barrita, 27, who is on the field training program (FTP) at the Cebu City Police Office (CCPO) and assigned to Task Force Colon, died at past 7 last night at the Cebu City Medical Center.

“PO1 Barrita died and was no longer moved to another hospital,” lawyer and Sun.Star columnist Eddie Barrita, the victim’s uncle, said in a text message sent to Sun.Star Cebu at past 7 last night.

Earlier, Atty. Barrita said they were planning to transfer his nephew to Chong Hua Hospital.

The slug from the Norinco .45 pistol owned by PO1 Ronie Berngel Barangian, which tore Barrita’s neck, exited through his nape.

Barangian, 25, who is also an FTP assigned with the Centralized Beat Patrol under the operations section of the city police force and a batch mate of Barrita, surrendered to the police.

He is now detained at the CCPO stockade while charges are being prepared against him by the Homicide Section.

CCPO Director Patrocinio Comendador Jr. said Barangian may face a complaint of homicide through reckless imprudence or homicide.

Barrita, Barangian and another neophyte policeman, identified as PO1 Mari June B. Bohol, 26, were reportedly drinking a few bottles of beer when the shooting happened.

Another policeman, PO1 Adam L. Perpetua, 24, also an FTP policeman, was sleeping on a bench when the accident happened.

Barangian was reportedly playing with the loaded pistol in front of Barrita when it went off, hitting Barrita in the neck.

He was taken by his fellow policemen to the city hospital.

Responding personnel from the Scene of the Crime Operations Unit (CSIU) recovered one empty shell and one deformed slug.

The .45 pistol with 10 bullets was confiscated from Barangian’s possession.

Barangian was submitted to a paraffin test yesterday.

All the police officers in the incident declined interviews.

Comendador, in an interview with reporters, said according to the information that reached him, Barrita and Bohol went to the boarding house, where Barangian is staying, to have dinner.

Bohol and Barrita were on duty at the downtown area as members of Task Force Colon.

Pending the result of the investigation, Comenda-dor said Bohol is restricted inside the CCPO headquarters.

Comendador said the Homicide Section will file the criminal complaint against Barangian.

As to the administrative aspect, Comendador said, it will be handled by the Police Regional Office (PRO) 7, which has the jurisdiction over FTP police officers.

Comendador said the result of the investigation and recommendations will be forwarded to PRO 7 for action.

If it is proven the FTP policemen violated some rules in the use of firearms, they could be kicked out of the service.

PRO 7 Director Lani-o Nerez, during yesterday’s 888 News Forum, said a field trainee’s appointment is temporary and removing them from the service does not require pre-charge evaluations, unlike regular police officers.

Nerez said police officers should not be seen drinking while wearing their police uniforms. They also should not play with their firearms, especially when they are drinking.

Nerez said CCPO will investigate the case thoroughly and determine if the field trainees committed an irregularity or violated any police policy.

“If the investigation’s results are not favorable to them, we can recommend their removal,” Nerez said

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