MANILA - Authorities have ordered an investigation into the case of an alleged curfew violator in General Trias, Cavite who died after supposedly being forced to do 300 rounds of a pumping exercise.
Darren Manaog Peñaredondo died after experiencing seizures on Saturday, April 3, according to his family in a now-viral post.
The victim was about to buy water on Thursday, April 1, when he was taken by barangay tanods for supposedly violating the curfew.
Violators were later brought to the plaza where they were forced to perform a strenuous exercise. They were later transferred to the custody of local police.
Cavite, which is part of the so-called NCR Plus bubble, is under enhanced community quarantine from March 29 until April 11. Under the strictest lockdown classification, curfew is from 6 p.m. until 5 a.m. to limit the movement of people in a bid to curb the spread of COVID-19.
The family said Peñaredondo returned home on Friday, April 2, and reportedly had trouble walking.
According to the Facebook post of his cousin Adrian Luceña, the victim started having seizures on Saturday, April 3. Peñaredondo was revived but died later.
In a statement released Monday, General Trias Mayor Antonio Ferrer ordered the police to conduct an investigation into the incident.
"Kaugnay sa 'di inaaasahang pagpanaw ni G. Darren Manaog Peñaredondo, inatasan natin agad ang Hepe ng ating kapulisan na magsagawa ng patas na imbestigasyon tungkol sa insidente ng paghuli at sa di-umano’y pagpapahirap sa kanya," he said.
(In relation to the untimely death of Mr. Darren Manaog Peñaredondo, I have ordered the police chief to conduct a fair investigation on his apprehension and supposed punishment.)
The mayor said he was in touch with the victim's family to provide assistance in their time of grief.
"Hangad po natin ang agarang pagkakaroon ng kalinawan sa mga pangyayari at mabigyan ng kapayapaan ng isipan at kalooban ang pamilya Peñaredondo," Ferrer said.
(We hope for an immediate clarification as to what happened, to provide closure to the Peñaredondo family.)
The Philippine National Police said Tuesday it was open to any investigation on the incident.
But PNP spokesperson Brig. Gen. Ildebrandi Usana said the police chief of General Trias denied imposing physical exercise to quarantine violators.
"We will take his word for that. He even claimed they provided assistance to the victim's family to bring him to the different hospitals," he said.
He added, "But if there are witnesses to the contrary, the PNP in the region will be there to get their side for the conduct of investigation."
Usana said there were 7 quarantine violators who were reportedly turned over to police after they were caught by barangay officials.
"Community service is better alternative. Even the CPNP [Debold Sinas] himself wanted no arrests on ECQ violators. Only warning and/or fines," he said.