HPG chief resigns as officer son probed for hitting trainee

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, April 6) — The director of the Philippine National Police - Highway Patrol Group (PNP-HPG) has stepped down from his post after his son, also an HPG officer, was seen in a viral video hitting a trainee in Quezon province.

The national police force confirmed this in a statement on Tuesday, saying HPG Director PBGen. Clifford Gairanod resigned “to pave way for a fair investigation” into the incident, which took place during the graduation rites of the HPG Executive Motorcycle Riding Course in Sariaya town.

In the video, the younger Gairanod was seen repeatedly hitting the chest of a trainee who had his knees on the ground.

The resigned HPG director explained in an interview with GMA News that this was part of a tradition in the HPG where officials or alumni pin the rider’s badge to graduates by driving it into their chest, at times forcefully.

However, the clip showed that his son continued to hit the trainee’s chest even after the latter was heard saying he was being struck too hard.

The PNP said Gairanod took full responsibility and immediately relieved his son from his post, along with the rest of the training staff involved in the incident, pending investigation.

PNP chief Gen. Rodolfo Azurin Jr. has commended Gairanod's move, according to the PNP.

"He welcomed the professional and gentlemanly gesture of PBGen. Gairanod and his immediate action on the matter," it said in a statement.

It added that Azurin has ordered the Internal Affairs Service to probe the incident for possible violations of the officers.

Meanwhile, the police organization called on members to abide by its policies and guidelines, including the conduct of different trainings.

“The PNP also reminded its personnel to be circumspect in all their actions within and outside the bounds of their official functions. It will not tolerate any misconduct committed by its members,” it said.

Gairanod was replaced as director by PBGen. Raul Bargamento on Thursday, April 5.