On April 1, Darren Manaog Peñaredondo, 28, left his house in General Trias, a metropolis in Cavite province, which is underneath lockdown due to rising Covid-19 instances, to purchase water, his household stated, in accordance to NCS affiliate NCS Philippines.

But he was stopped by police and advised to do “pumping exercises” 100 occasions, in accordance to the report. Police made him repeat the workouts, which means he in the end did about 300 repetitions.

“He started to convulse on Saturday, but we were able to revive him at home. Then his body failed so we revived him again, but he was already comatose,” his household stated, in accordance to the report. Peñaredondo died at 10 p.m., the household stated.

The Philippines has one of many highest reported Covid-19 caseloads of any nation in Asia — it has recorded greater than 819,000 infections and 14,000 deaths, in accordance to Johns Hopkins University. Last month, instances within the nation rose sharply, prompting authorities to order greater than 25 million people into lockdown — together with these in Cavite province.

The Department of the Interior and Local Government and the mayor of General Trias metropolis have ordered an investigation into Peñaredondo’s dying, in accordance to the report.

Philippines orders more than 25 million people into lockdown over Easter as Covid-19 cases soarPhilippines orders more than 25 million people into lockdown over Easter as Covid-19 cases soar

“All police officers who will be proven to have violated the law will be prosecuted and meted with appropriate (administrative) and criminal penalties,” the division’s undersecretary Jonathan Malaya stated in a textual content message to NCS Philippines.

Peñaredondo’s dying follows a string of incidents involving brutal policing methods.

In a statement last month, non-profit group Human Rights Watch (HRW) pointed to experiences that officers had locked 5 youths inside a canine cage for violating quarantine. They additionally reportedly forced individuals to sit within the noon solar as punishment for breaching a curfew.

Jose Manuel Diokno, a lawyer and founding father of Free Legal Assistance Group (FLAG), stated it was not authorized to lock individuals up in cages or make individuals squat 300 occasions. “The only penalties that can be imposed by law enforcers for any kind of violations are those found in local law and national law, and we don’t have any laws that allow people to be put in dog cages or be made to exercise for long periods of time,” he stated.

A troublesome method to Covid restrictions

The Philippines has taken a troublesome method to containing coronavirus.

President Rodrigo Duterte has utilized his conventional strongman techniques, saying in April final yr that police would shoot useless anybody who violated virus restrictions. “I will not hesitate. My orders are to the police, the military and the barangays: If they become unruly and they fight you and your lives are endangered, shoot them dead,” Duterte said throughout a speech.
Huge numbers of individuals have been detained for breaching restrictions up to now 12 months. Between March and August final yr, almost 290,000 individuals had been warned, fined or charged for violating quarantine guidelines, NCS Philippines reported. Since Duterte put the primary Philippine island of Luzon in lockdown on March 16 this yr, a whole bunch of individuals had been arrested in Manila, HRW stated in March.
Police officers inspect motorists at a quarantine checkpoint, on March 29, 2021 in Marikina, Metro Manila, Philippines. Police officers inspect motorists at a quarantine checkpoint, on March 29, 2021 in Marikina, Metro Manila, Philippines.
Philippine authorities argue the tough approach is required to management the nation’s outbreak. But Carlos Conde, a senior researcher at HRW, who relies within the Philippines, argues that surging instances present the measures have not labored. Instead, he stated the choice to arrest individuals en masse has seemingly seen individuals “packed like sardines” into crowded jails, with no social distancing.

Lockdown orders had additionally harmed individuals who want to depart their houses to work, he stated, including the measures had been “very anti-poor.”

In its annual report launched this week, Amnesty International criticized the Philippines’ method, noting that “measures taken by the government to curb the spread of Covid-19 led to numerous abuses of human rights.”
Last month, Duterte defended utilizing former army officers within the combat towards Covid-19, saying, “You need not be a doctor here,” in accordance to a NCS Philippines report. NCS has reached out to the official Philippine Information Agency for remark.

Decline in freedoms

Brutal policing strategies have been a problem for years within the Philippines. Since Duterte got here to energy in 2016, hundreds have died within the “war on drugs” after the president ordered police to kill anybody they believed to be linked to the medication commerce.

But activists say the pandemic has additional degraded freedoms and human rights.

According to Conde, the important thing downside is the federal government is treating Covid-19 as a public security problem — not a well being concern. The outsized roles given to army and police had solely elevated the prevalence of aggressive policing techniques, he stated.

“I think the police, the military and the local government, they have been emboldened to commit human rights violations even more during the pandemic,” he stated.

A police officer takes mugshots of alleged curfew violators at a quarantine checkpoint on March 29, 2021 in Marikina, Metro Manila, Philippines. A police officer takes mugshots of alleged curfew violators at a quarantine checkpoint on March 29, 2021 in Marikina, Metro Manila, Philippines.

Diokno, the lawyer, stated authorities had “just taken a cue from their leader,” referring to Duterte.

There have been impacts past those that had been arrested for breaching quarantine. According to HRW, there was a 50% enhance in individuals killed within the “war on drugs” from April to July 2020 in contrast with the earlier four-month interval.

Diokno stated human rights had “very clearly” been degraded over the pandemic. “Aside from the lives that have been lost, the first victims of the pandemic were democratic rights and freedoms,” he stated.



Sources

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