A quarantine violator in General Trias, Cavite, died on Saturday, April 3, after being forced to do 300 rounds of a pumping exercise akin to squats, his family said.
According to the Facebook post of Adrian Luceña, the victim’s cousin, 28-year-old Darren Manaog Peñaredondo died after being forced to do 300 rounds of the exercise in Barangay Tejero on April 1.
Peñaredondo was nabbed by village guards (barangay tanod) for violating the curfew on April 1 after he was seen buying drinking water past 6 pm.
In a phone interview with Rappler, Peñaredondo’s live-in partner, Reichelyn Balce, said her partner complained about the punishment after he arrived home on April 2.
“Ang kuwento niya po sa akin, dinala sila sa Plaza ng Malabon sa tapat po ‘yun ng munisipyo. Tapos po, pinag-pumping daw sila ng mga pulis nang 100 times. Sabi pa po sa kanila, ‘pag di sila sabay-sabay, pauulitin daw sila. Kuwento niya rin po sa akin na natumba rin siya doon,” Balce said.
(He told me that they were brought to the Plaza Malabon in front of the municipal hall. And then, they were told to do pumping exercises 100 times. 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.)
“Tapos pag-uwi niya po nang umaga ng Biyernes, mag-aalas otso nang umaga, akay-akay na po siya ng kasama niyang nahuli sakay ng mobile. Tinanong ko kung nabugbog ba siya, ngumiti lang siya pero halata mong may masakit sa kanya,” she added.
(Then when he came home on Friday, around 8 am, he was assisted by his fellow quarantine violator who was arrested with him in the mobile. I asked if he was beaten up, he just smiled but it was obvious he was in pain.)
On April 2, Peñaredondo struggled to move by himself all day due to fatigue, according to Balce.
“Maghapon na ‘yun, hirap na hirap siyang lumakad, gumagapang siya sa sahig para lang makatayo…Pero di ko siya sineryoso masyado kasi ang sabi niya lang masakit ‘yung tuhod saka hita niya tapos ‘yung katawan niya,”
(That whole day, he struggled to walk, he was just crawling on the floor just to get up. But I did not take that seriously because he said his knees and thighs were aching, as was his body.)
Hours later, Peñaredondo started having seizures and lost consciousness. He was eventually revived but died not long after.
“Nu’ng nagpatulong po siya para umihi, doon na po siya nag-seizure. Nag-kombulsyon na po siya, nag-violet na po mukha niya. Wala na ‘yung heartbeat niya. Nagpatulong lang ako sa mga kapitbahay namin para i-CPR siya, doon lang bumalik heartbeat niya,” Luceña said.
(When he asked for help when he was going to pee, he started to have seizures. He convulsed and his face turned violet. His heart stopped beating. I asked our neighbors to give him CPR, afterwards his heartbeat returned.)
In a phone interview, Chairman Rodolfo Cruz Jr of Barangay Tejero confirmed that village guards nabbed Peñaredondo, and he was transferred to General Trias police that same night.
General Trias police chief Police Lieutenant Colonel Marlo Nillo Solero denied the allegations of Peñaredondo’s family, however, saying they don’t have such a punishment for quarantine violators.
“So sa claim po na pumping, wala po kaming binibigay na ganoong punishment sa kanila. Instead, we’re conducting lectures po,” Solero said in a phone interview with Rappler. (As to the claims of pumping, we don’t give such punishment. Instead, we conduct lectures.)
Solero also said they haven’t received any formal complaint on the incident, though the case is currently under investigation.
In a statement on Facebook on the evening of April 5, General Trias Mayor Antonio Ferrer confirmed he had told the chief of police to have the case investigated.
Ferrer added he was in touch with Peñaredondo’s family to offer condolences and assistance in their time of grief, as well as to give assurances that the matter would be cleared up in due time to provide closure for the family.
For Peñaredondo’s live-in partner, a simple punishment is enough for quarantine violators to avoid incidents like this.
“Sana sa susunod, puwede naman sigurong sitahin lang… Hindi naman tatambay eh, may bibilhin lang. Saka kung magpaparusa sila, ‘wag naman ganoon dahil hindi naman lahat ng tao ay physically fit. Community service, okay na ‘yun,” Balce said.
(I hope next time, accosting is enough… He didn’t intend to hang out, he was just going to buy something. And if they are going to punish someone, it doesn’t have to be a punishment like that because not everyone is physically fit. Community service is enough.) – Rappler.com