MANILA - Quarantine violators should not be made to do physical exercises as punishment, Philippine National Police Spokesperson Police Brig. Gen. Ildebrandi Usana said, as they started investigating the viral incident of a man allegedly forced to do 300 pumping exercises for supposedly flouting curfew regulations.
In a public press briefing, Usana said police only have the authority to get the documentation and statements of the violators and give them warnings, based on orders from the PNP. Fines may also be issued upon discretion of local authorities.
"We learned na pina-exercise sila but supposedly 'pag nasa custody ang sino mang violators, itong police na nagsasagawa ng imbestigasyon dapat po kunan lang sila ng statement or rather ng documentation sa pagkakakilanlan tapos ire-release na po sila," Usana said.
(We learned that the violators were made to exercise. However, police only have the authority to get the statement of the violators, or rather documentation as proof of identity, and then release them.)
“However, pinag-exercise nga po ng pulis ang 8 na ito at bawal po ito. In fact kahit nga po sabihin natin na merong panuntunan ang magbibigay ng desisyon na magbibigay ng parusa ay 'yung korte o 'yung judge in this case hindi dapat mangyari 'yon,” he added.
(However, these 8 people were made to exercise, and this is prohibited. Even though people can decide on punishing violators through guidelines, set by the courts or the judges, in this case, it should not happen.)
The death of Darren Peñaredondo, a resident of General Trias City in Cavite, went viral on social media as he was allegedly made to do 300 rounds of a pumping exercise after being found outside during curfew hours, along with 7 other people.
Peñaredondo’s partner, Reichelyn Balce, said he was only outside because he was looking for water. He later on went into a coma.
The city police chief denied imposing physical exercise to quarantine violators, Usana had earlier said.
But in a briefing Saturday, Usana noted that the city police chief, now sacked because of the incident, was "not aware" that the violators were made to do exercises, until their investigation started.
"'Yung chief of police binigyan siya ng impormasyon na walang binigay na physical exercise only to find out na meron pala," Usana said.
(The chief of police was given information that there was no physical exercise given as punishment only to find out that there was.)
The PNP said they will "not tolerate” such actions and look into other similar incidents.
"And I guess in the past last year may mga (there are) controversial issues that had been discussed and we are requiring these police officers to be very careful with this kind of things that they are doing on their own without the knowledge of perhaps the chief of police," Usana said.
"We are not tolerating this kind and assured na may mga mamamayan na nakakaranas nang nang naaayon sa ordinances na ipinaiiral during ECQ ito po ay bibigyang pansin ng PNP,” he added.
Areas covered by the National Capital Region (NCR) Plus bubble (Metro Manila, Cavite, Laguna, Rizal, Bulacan) are under a 6 p.m. curfew as part of the enhanced community quarantine imposed in the area.
Usana said 47,149 were found to have flouted quarantine protocols from March 29 to present, noting that most violators were given warnings and fines based on government ordinances.