A 28-year-old man died in the Philippines after being forced to do 300 squats as a punishment for violating the curfew, under restrictions to contain the covid-19 pandemic. Family says he was just going to buy water.
Darren Manaog Peñaredondo, 28, left home on April 1 to go buy water in a town in the province of Cavite, which is in confinement due to the increase in cases of covid-19.
But on the way, he was stopped by the police who “punished” him with a hundred squats, according to a report by CNN’s affiliate in the Philippines. And the agents ordered him to repeat the exercise, prompting the man to do about 300 squats.
Two days later the man “started to have seizures but it was possible to resuscitate him at home. Then his body failed and was resuscitated again, but he was already in a coma,” said the family. Darren died at 10 pm.
The Philippines has more than 819,000 infections and 14,000 deaths from covid-19, according to Johns Hopkins University. The sharp rise in new cases in the past month has prompted authorities to order the mandatory confinement of more than 25 million people, including in the province of Cavite.
The Interior Department and local officials have already ordered an investigation into Darren’s death. “All police officers who are found to have violated the law will be prosecuted and punished according to the planned criminal and administrative penalties,” Interior Department Deputy Secretary Jonathan Malaya said in a message to CNN Philippines.
Darren’s death comes after other incidents of police brutality. In a statement released in March, the organization Human Rights Watch (HRW) denounced the case of five young people who were arrested in a cage for violating the duty of recollection and people forced to sit in the sun at the hottest time of the day as punishment.
“The only penalties that can be imposed by the security forces for any violation are those provided for in local and national law and we have no law that allows people in dog cages or exercise for a long period of time” , stressed José Manuel Diokno, lawyer and founder of a group of free legal assistance (Free Legal Assistance Group).
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