A Philippines man allegedly died when he was forced to do 300 squats as punishment for breaking COVID-19 curfew rules, according to a new report.
Darren Manaog Peñaredondo, 28, was out after 6 p.m. on April 1 buying drinking water in his city of General Trias, Cavite, when he was nabbed by village guards, Rappler reported. The Cavite province currently has a strict curfew in place from 6 p.m to 5 a.m., per Inquirer.net.
The Philippines has reported nearly 800,000 cases of COVID-19 along with 13,425 deaths, which is second in Southeast Asia behind Indonesia.
Peñaredondo, along with another curfew violator, were brought to a shopping plaza and forced to perform “pumping” exercises, similar to that of squats, his partner Reichelyn Balce told Rappler.
“They were told to do pumping exercises 100 times,” she said. “The enforcers also said that if they were not in sync, they would repeat it. He also told me he stumbled while doing the exercise.”
After completing the grueling activity, Peñaredondo reportedly returned home, with help from the other curfew violator, around 8 a.m. the following morning. Bacle said her partner was in obvious pain and struggled to walk the entire time he was home.
“That whole day, he struggled to walk, he was just crawling on the floor just to get up,” Balce said. “But I did not take that seriously because he said his knees and thighs were aching, as was his body.”
Peñaredondo suffered a seizure later in the evening and despite being briefly revived, he passed away around 10 p.m., per The Guardian.
Following Peñaredondo’s death, there is an investigation underway, General Trias mayor Anthony Ferrer confirmed in a Facebook post.
“In connection with the unexpected passing of Mr. Darren Manaog Peñaredondo, we immediately ordered the Chief of our police to conduct a fair investigation about the incident of arrest and the seemingly torturing him,” Ferrer wrote. “Let’s hope that we have immediate clarity on the events and give peace of mind and will to the Peñaredondo family.”
The city’s police chief Police Lieutenant Colonel Marlo Nillo Solero is denying Peñaredondo’s death occurred due to excessive exercise as punishment. He insisted curfew violators are met with reason and not violence.
“As to the claims of pumping, we don’t give such punishment,” Solero said. “Instead, we conduct lectures.”