HPG chief resigns as video shows son punching trainee
MANILA, Philippines — The director of the Philippine National Police Highway Patrol Group (HPG) has stepped down after his son and subordinate were captured on video hitting and bullying a trainee during the graduation rites of a motorcycle-riding course in Quezon province on Sunday.
In a statement on Tuesday, the PNP said Brig. Gen. Clifford Gairanod wrote a letter to PNP chief Gen. Rodolfo Azurin Jr. saying he was “voluntarily relinquishing his post to pave [the] way for a fair investigation” and “takes full responsibility for the unfortunate incident.”
A video clip circulating on social media shows Gairanod’s son, Capt. Clifton Gairanod, punching the unnamed trainee in the chest and ordering him to go down on his knees, as part of initiation rites for graduates of the HPG’s Executive Motorcycle Riding Course (EMCRC) in a resort in Sariaya town on April 2.
The younger Gairanod, an HPG officer, only stopped after the trainee complained that the blows were too strong, drawing laughter from the other HPG officers, the clip showed.
He was seen delivering two more punches to the victim and taunting him: “Who’s your lawyer? Why don’t you sue me for physical injuries?”
The EMCRC is open to personnel of the PNP or other law enforcement agencies with the rank of major or higher, government officials, and prominent civilian leaders and business industry executives.
Sacking own kid
The course aims to equip and familiarize students on the proper operation of high-performance motorbikes, traffic enforcement and defensive motorcycle training.
Before turning in his resignation letter as HPG head, Gairanod relieved his son and the other members of the training staff who were directly involved in the incident from their HPG posts.
Azurin accepted Gairanod’s resignation and reassigned him to the Office of the Chief PNP.
He appointed Col. Jay Cumigad, former deputy regional director for operations of the Central Luzon police, as the new HPG director.
The PNP chief also directed the Internal Affairs Service to conduct an investigation on the incident and determine possible violations committed by Captain Gairanod and the rest of the EMCRC training staff.
Azurin commended the “professional and gentlemanly gesture” of the older Gairanod and his immediate action on the matter.
He described Gairanod as a “good officer … [who] has been effectively and efficiently serving the country as the director of HPG.”