Police chief, 2 others relieved after death of curfew violator | Inquirer News
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Police chief, 2 others relieved after death of curfew violator

/ 05:00 AM April 08, 2021

The Philippine National Police on Wednesday relieved the police chief of General Trias City and two of his men accused of punishing strict lockdown violators with strenuous physical exercises which supposedly caused the death of a 28-year-old man.

Brig. Gen. Ildebrandi Usana, the PNP spokesperson, said forcing people to perform grueling exercise routines could be harmful, especially to those with health problems.

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He was referring to an incident involving 28-year-old Darren Peñaredondo who died two days after he and seven other lockdown ordinance violators in General Trias City were allegedly punished by the local police by asking them to do several hundreds of repetitions of pumping exercises.

Col. Marlon Santos, Cavite provincial police director, relieved General Trias City police chief, Lt. Col. Marlo Solero, and his men, Corporals Jerome Vibar and Kenneth Mercene, after two city lockdown violators attested to having been compelled to do physical exercises by the policemen.

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Solero, who earlier denied the accusation, and his men have been reassigned to the Cavite police director’s office pending the administrative and criminal investigation by the provincial police.

According to Usana, Santos relieved Solero and his men after he was able to “validate for himself from vital witnesses what actually happened during that fateful night that may probably be one of the preceding causes of the death of Mr. Darren Peñaredondo.“

Peñaredondo was among eight men rounded up on April 1 by Barangay Tejero officials for violating the 6 p,m, curfew and for failing to wear masks and face shields. They were turned over to the city police.

He was released to the custody of village officials at 7 a.m. the next day. He died on the night of April 3.

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“We only have to make it clear on the Cavite case that physical exercises are not bad. They are necessary for everyone to live a healthy life,” Usana said.

But added, “There is also such a thing as excessive physical exercise that could be harmful to a person with medical history.”

On Wednesday, the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) said it would investigate the incident and urged local governments to only impose community service against quarantine violators, noting that it was “concerned” about the treatment and death of Peñaredondo.

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“Excessive punishments and fines which are punitive in nature and disproportionate with the violation represent an overreach of the enforcement of quarantine rules and regulations,” CHR spokesperson Jacqueline de Guia said in a statement.

“We stress that quarantine measures are being implemented as a public health measure, and not as a peace and order solution,” she said. —WITH A REPORT FROM KRIXIA SUBINGSUBING

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