But he was stopped by police and told to do “pumping exercises” 100 times, according to the report. Police made him repeat the exercises, which means he eventually did about 300 repetitions.
“He started convulsing on Saturday, but we were able to resuscitate him at home. Then his body failed, so we resuscitated him again, but he was already comatose,” his family said, according to the report. Pearedondo died at 10 a.m., the family said.
The Department of the Interior and Local Government and the mayor of the city of General Trias have ordered an investigation into Pearedondo’s death, according to the report.
“All police officers who will be proven to have broken the law will be prosecuted and punished with appropriate (administrative) and criminal penalties,” Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya said in a text message to CNN Philippines.
Pearedondo’s death follows a series of incidents involving brutal police techniques.
Jose Manuel Diokno, a lawyer and founder of the Free Legal Aid Group (FLAG), said it was not legal to lock people in cages or make people gather 300 times. “The only penalties that can be imposed by law enforcement for any kind of violation are those found in local law and national law, and we have no law that allows people to get into dog cages or be allowed to exercise over periods of time.” he said.
A tough approach to Covid restrictions
The Philippines has taken a tough approach to containing coronavirus.
The blockade orders had also hurt people who need to leave their homes to work, he said, adding that the measures were “very anti-poor”.
The decline of freedoms
Brutal police methods have been an issue for years in the Philippines. Since Duterte came to power in 2016, thousands have died in the “war on drugs” after the president ordered police to kill anyone they believed was linked to the drug trade.
But activists say the pandemic has further degraded human rights and freedoms.
According to Conde, the main problem it’s the government is treating Covid-19 as a public safety issue – not a health concern. Excessive roles given to the army and police had only increased the prevalence of aggressive police tactics, he said.
“I think the police, the army and the local government, they have been encouraged to commit even more human rights violations during the pandemic,” he said.
Diokno, the lawyer, said authorities had “received only one suggestion from their leader”, referring to Duterte.
Diokno said human rights had been “very clearly degraded” because of the pandemic. “Apart from the lives they lost, the first victims of the pandemic were democratic rights and freedoms,” he said.
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