• Monday, May 16, 2022
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Philippines man dies after physical punishment for flouting quarantine

  • Published at 03:35 pm April 6th, 2021
Philippines Covid Coronavirus
A police officer mans a checkpoint as the country's capital returns to stricter lockdown measures amid rising coronavirus disease (Covid-19) cases, in Quezon City, Metro Manila, Philippines, March 29, 2021 Reuters

Mayor Ony Ferrer orders the chief of police to conduct a thorough investigation

A Philippines man has died after allegedly being made to do 300 squat-like exercises by police as punishment for violating Covid-19 quarantine rules, his family says. 

On April 1, Darren Manaog Penaredondo was allegedly stopped by officers while buying water after 6pm (local time) in Cavite province, reports BBC.

He collapsed the following day and later died.

Cavite province, on the island of Luzon, is currently under strict lockdown to tackle the spread of Covid-19.

Marlo Solero, police chief of General Trias City, said there is no physical punishment for those found violating curfew rules, only lectures from officers. 

He told local media that if officers were found to have enforced the punishment, it would not be tolerated.

Also Read - 'Shoot them dead' - Philippine president says won't tolerate lockdown violators

Adrian Lucena, a relative of the victim, announced the death on Facebook. 

He said Penaredondo and others found violating the curfew were told to do 100 squat-like exercises in sync together.

If they failed to do them at the same time, they would have to repeat the set, he said. The group, however, ended up doing 300 of the exercises.

The victim's brother said Penaredondo came home in the morning on April 2 in pain.

His live-in partner Reichelyn Balce told local news outlet Rappler that he struggled to move throughout the day. 

She said: "That whole day, he struggled to walk, he was just crawling. But I did not take that seriously because he said it's just a simple body ache." 

Later, Penaredondo collapsed and stopped breathing while Balce asked the neighbours to help revive him, but he reportedly died not long after.

General Trias City Mayor Ony Ferrer described the alleged punishment as "torture" and ordered the chief of police to conduct a thorough investigation. 

Earlier this month, Human Rights Watch (HRW) warned that rule-breakers in the Philippines were being abused. 

The rights group said there were cases where police and local officials confined people to dog cages and others were forced to sit in the midday sun.

During a television address on April 1, President Rodrigo Duterte warned citizens not to defy lockdown rules.

"I will not hesitate. My orders are to the police and military, as well as village officials, if there is any trouble, or occasions where there's violence and your lives are in danger, shoot them dead," he said.

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