The Philippine government has imposed strict community quarantine across the country, and has mobilized the police force to enforce these measures.
  • A man died after he was forced to do 300 squat exercises as punishment for breaking a Covid curfew.
  • The 28-year-old Filipino man was stopped by policemen when he was out buying water.
  • This is the latest in several reported human rights abuses of Covid rule-breakers in the country.
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A Filipino man has died after being forced by police to do 300 squat-like exercises as punishment for breaking the country's strict Covid curfew rules.

Darren Manaog Penaredondo, 28, was out buying water at a local store in Cavite province after curfew last Thursday when he was stopped by police officers for violating the 18:00 curfew.

Penaredondo's relative, Adrian Lucena, said on Facebook that he and others caught breaking curfew had been forced to do 100 squat-like exercises as punishment.

According to Lucena, the group was told to do the squats in sync - but if one of them was out of sync, the group would have to repeat the whole set. Penaredondo and the others ended up doing a total of 300 reps.

The man's live-in girlfriend Reichelyn Balce told local media outlet Rappler that Penaredondo had been in immense pain when he returned on Friday morning.

"When he came back around 8 am, he was being assisted by another curfew violator. I asked if he was beaten up, but he just smiled. It was obvious that he was in a lot of pain," she said.

Balce added that Penaredondo struggled to walk, and was reduced to crawling on the floor as his knees and thighs ached. Later that day, he started convulsing and having seizures.

"His face turned violet, and his heart stopped beating," Balce told the outlet.

Village guard chairman Rodolfo Cruz Jr. confirmed in a phone interview with Rappler that Penaredondo was arrested and handled by police last Thursday. However, police chief Marlo Nillo Solero denied the allegations that Penaredondo's family made, saying that there was "no such punishment."

"Instead, we conduct lectures," Solero told Rappler.

Mayor Antonio Ferrer said yesterday in a Facebook post that the case was being investigated and that he'd been in touch with the grieving family to offer his condolences and provide assistance.

"We immediately ordered the chief of our police to conduct a fair investigation about the incident and the supposed torture," Ferrer said. "I hope we can have immediate clarity on the events and give peace of mind to the family."

This is the latest in several human rights violations reported in the Philippines concerning Covid rule-breakers.

A report from Human Rights Watch cited instances where police had imprisoned people in dog cages and forced other Covid curfew violators to sit under the blazing mid-day sun for hours. In one case, a Manila man was killed after he attempted to avoid a Covid checkpoint.

During a televised address last Thursday, Philippine 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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