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USA TODAY

Philippine authorities are investigating the death of a 28-year-old man who was forced to perform nearly 300 squat exercises after officials said he had broken local COVID-19 exit rules last week.

Darren Manaog Peñaredondo, 28, was apprehended by village guards on April 1 in General Trias City, south of Manila, while buying water after 1 p.m. 18 The curfew lasts from kl. 18 to kl.

Reichelyn Balce said her husband was ordered to perform the exercises with others. Her husband had a heart condition and could barely walk when he got home the next day, she said.

“He said they were made to do pumping exercises for 100 reps. If they are not synchronized, they have to start over,” she told AFP.

Adrian Lucena, Peñaredondo’s cousin, posted on social media that Peñaredondo “had cramps, but we were able to resuscitate him at home” before he was rushed to hospital and died hours later.

National police spokesman Ildebrandi Usana said the city’s police chief and two officers have been removed from their posts pending an investigation into the incident.

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“It’s a squat exercise,” Usana told AFP. “It’s painful. If it’s the requirement, you will really pass, especially if you are not used to it. Even police officers themselves have a hard time.”

Police have punished thousands of people for violating curfews imposed on Metro Manila last week and four provinces bordering the national capital region to curb soaring infections. More than 24 million people in Greater Manila remain under strict lockdown, among the longest in the world, as a severe wave threatens the country’s health system.

The Philippines has confirmed more than 828,000 cases and is struggling with a positivity rate of almost 25%. More than 14,000 deaths have been reported.

Rights groups have previously expressed concern about excessive punishment for people caught violating COVID-19 restrictions. Justice Minister Menardo Guevarra said Monday that local officials should consider using community service to punish people who break lockdown rules, rather than jail or fine them, the Manila Standard reported.

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