Covid curfew breaker dies after ‘police force him to do 300 squats as punishment’


A man has died after allegedly being forced to do 300 squats for breaking coronavirus curfew.

Darren Manaog Peñaredondo was caught buying a bottle of water on the outskirts of Manila in the Philippines on April 1, some time after the city’s 6pm curfew.

His partner claims police brought him to the municipal hall and made him perform 100 squat exercises along with other Covid rule-breakers.

If the detainees didn’t do the exercises in perfect synchronisation together, they were allegedly made to repeat the exercise.

Mr Peñaredondo was ultimately forced to perform 300 squats, his partner Reichelyn Balce said.



Darren Manaog Peñaredondo was caught outside Manila after the city's 6pm Covid curfew
Darren Manaog Peñaredondo was caught outside Manila after the city’s 6pm Covid curfew

“He told me that they were brought to the Plaza Malabon in front of the municipal hall,” she told Rappler.

“And then, they were told to do pumping exercises [squats] 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.

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“When he came home on Friday, around 8am, he was assisted by a fellow quarantine violator who was arrested with him. I asked if he was beaten up.

“He just smiled, but it was obvious he was in pain.”



Mr Peñaredondo was in severe pain and couldn't walk the following day
Mr Peñaredondo was in severe pain and couldn’t walk the following day

The following day Mr Peñaredondo was unable to stand due to the pain in his legs.

“That whole day, he struggled to walk, he was just crawling,” Ms Balce said.

“But I did not take that seriously because he said it’s just a simple body ache.”

While using the bathroom he began having a seizure, so a neighbour gave him CPR and he regain consciousness. Tragically he died just a few hours later.



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However Colonel Marlo Nillo Solero, head of the local police, has denied that Mr Peñaredondo died as a result of strenuous exercise.

“We don’t give such punishment,” he told Rappler.

“Instead, we conduct lectures.”

Mayor Antonio Ferrer announced in a Facebook post that he had ordered police to conduct an investigation into the death.

“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 his alleged torture,” he said.

“We have personally interacted with the family of Mr Peñaredondo to console and help in their needs.

“Let’s hope that we have immediate clarity on the events and give peace of mind and will to the Peñaredondo family.”

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