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Man dies after Philippines police make him do 300 squats for breaking lockdown

Man dies after Philippines police make him do 300 squats for breaking lockdown

A 28-year-old man in the Philippines died after being forced to do 300 squats by police for violating coronavirus lockdown rules.

Darren Manaog Peñaredondo was detained in a suburb of Manila on Thursday for a curfew violation, The New York Times reports. Before he was released the next day he was made to do 300 squats, according to Peñaredondo’s family.

“He told me that he fell when doing the exercises,” Peñaredondo’s partner, Reichelyn Balce, said. “He struggled to walk when he got home. When he went to relieve himself, he turned blue and convulsed.”

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Balce said that Peñaredondo was revived, but later died.

Police initially denied what happened to Peñaredondo, the Times reports, but two other men who were detained alongside him signed a sworn statement affirming the incident.

National police spokesperson Brig. Gen. Ildebrandi Usana said the two police officers who punished Peñaredondo have been suspended while their actions are investigated.

The Times notes that this is not the first time authorities in the Philippines have been accused of harsh tactics against civilians. Filipino president Rodrigo Duterte told police last year to shoot anyone who "causes commotion."

Jacqueline Ann de Guia, head of the Commission on Human Rights for the Filipino government, said the punishment was an “overreach of the enforcement of quarantine rules and regulations,” and said punishment for a curfew violation called for community service or a fine instead.

The Philippines is struggling with a new surge in coronavirus cases. On Monday the country extended its lockdown in certain provinces for an additional week. The government is reportedly struggling to obtain vaccines and is still prioritizing health care workers for doses first.