A dad-of-one died after allegedly being forced to do 300 squats as a punishment for breaking a 6pm Covid lockdown curfew.
Darren Penaredondo, 28, is said to have gone out to buy a bottle of water from a local store in Cavite, the Philippines, on April 1.
Police guards are accused of ordering him to 100 pump squats – a cross between a squat and a push-up – in the municipal hall after catching him outside shortly after 6pm.
The young man ‘struggled to walk’ after officers ‘made him and a number of other people start over again three times’ after the group failed to do them correctly and in sync. They were allegedly had to do three sets – a total of 300 pump squats.
Officials have denied the accusations, despite pump squats becoming a common form of punishment in the country during the pandemic.
Devastated wife Reichelyn Balce said Darren got home at around 8am the next morning with the help of another curfew breaker after she was up all night worrying about him.
He was in pain and could only crawl on the floor as he was so tired – his fatigue being exacerbated by thirst and hunger, she revealed.
Reichelyn said: ‘When he came home on Friday, around 8 am, he was assisted by his fellow quarantine violator who was arrested with him in the mobile. I asked if he was beaten up, he just smiled but it was obvious he was in pain.
‘That whole day, he struggled to walk, he was just crawling on the floor just to get up. But I did not take that seriously because he said his knees and thighs were aching, as was his body.’
Darren started having seizures and lost consciousness later that day. He was revived but died at home on April 3, two days after ‘being forced into the squats’.
Reichelyn said: ‘When he asked for help when he was going to pee, he started to have seizures.
‘He convulsed and his face turned violet. His heart stopped beating. I asked our neighbours to give him CPR, afterwards his heartbeat returned.’
An investigation has been launched into the father’s tragic death.
Tejero village chief Rodolfo Cruz Jr confirmed Darren was one of the quarantine violators held on April 1.
He said he was transferred to the General Trias police officers custody the same evening.
General Trias police chief Police Lieutenant Colonel Marlo Nillo Solero has denied giving out the physical punishment, saying the group received a talk instead.
He said: ‘As to the claims of pumping, we don’t give such punishment. Instead, we conduct lectures.’
General Trias Mayor Antonio Ferrer said: ‘I personally contacted his family to offer my condolences and assistance. We want to know what really happened for the family’s sake.’
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