Highway Patrol chief resigns

Emmanuel Tupas - The Philippine Star
Highway Patrol chief resigns
In a series of images taken from a viral video, an unnamed Highway Patrol Group officer punches and mocks a trainee during the graduation rites of the Executive Motorcycle Riding Course in Sariaya, Quezon on Sunday.

Over viral video of cop hitting trainee

MANILA, Philippines — Highway Patrol Group director Brig. Gen. Clifford Gairanod has stepped down from his post after an HPG member was caught on video hitting a trainee during the graduation rites of the Executive Motorcycle Riding Course at a resort in Sariaya, Quezon.

In a letter to PNP chief Gen. Rodolfo Azurin Jr., Gairanod said he is taking full responsibility for what he described was an unfortunate incident last Sunday.

“I volunteered to leave my post pending an investigation on the issue,” he said.

Gairanod relieved from their post his own son, Capt. Clifton Gairanod, and other members of the training staff who were directly involved in the incident.

Azurin has accepted Gairanod’s resignation and appointed Col. Jay Cumigad, former deputy regional director for operations of the Central Luzon police, as the new HPG director. Azurin also directed the Internal Affairs Service to conduct an investigation on the incident.

In the video, an unnamed HPG officer was seen delivering four blows to the trainee.

The officer first asked the trainee to go down on his knees and then hit the victim with two successive blows to the chest.

The HPG officer stopped after the trainee complained that the blows were too strong, which elicited laughter from the other people who were present. The officer then hit the victim twice more.

“Sino attorney mo? Physical injury ikaso mo sa akin, ha (Who’s your attorney? File physical injury charges against me),” the officer told the trainee in jest.

Azurin reiterated his call for all police personnel to follow policies and guidelines in all their dealings, including the conduct of training exercises.

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