National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) head, Director Guillermo Eleazar ordered the relief of Chief Insp. Alden Panganiban, deputy commander of the Gandara Community Precinct in Binondo.
The victims, PO3 Enrique Valdez, PO1 Ricardo Bautista and PO1 Jose Sinfroso, all assigned at NCRPO Regional Personnel Holding and Accounting Unit (RPHAU), served as auxilliary forces during the Traslacion. They alleged that Panganiban summoned them in a construction site along Escolta at the height of the procession and hit their hands with a piece of wood.
The three policemen said Panganiban was fuming mad after accusing them of failing to control the devotees from pushing and pulling each other at the height of the procession.
Panganiban, however, claimed that he only taught the cops a "lesson", saying they repeatedly refused to follow some of his orders as he was not in-charge of them.
Panganiban also claimed the three cops kept on leaving their posts.
The victims refuted Panganiban's claim and complained that they cannot move their hands due to swelling because of the severe spanking.
Eleazar said the three cops filed charges of conduct unbecoming of an officer, grave abuse of authority, and violation of the Anti-Hazing Law against Panganiban.
The Regional Investigation and Detection Management Division (RIDMD, NCRPO) has been reviewing the charges against Panganiban.
PNP chief, Director General Oscar Albayalde, said they will look into the matter to determine why Panganiban punished the three cops.
However, Albayalde said the three victims can also be held liable for insubordination and non-compliance with a legal directive against them.
Albayalde said the three policemen should have followed Panganiban’s orders even if they belonged to another unit.
Meanwhile, MPD head, Senior Supt. Vicente Danao, said Panganiban was relieved pending results of the investigation, clarifying that he can also be reinstated anytime.