Gen. Trias police chief loses post over death of 'quarantine violator'
Litrato ng mga labi ni Darren Manaog, bagay na ibinahagi ng isang Adrian Luceña sa Facebook, ika-4 ng Abril, 2021
Mula sa Facebook ni Adrian Luceña

Gen. Trias police chief loses post over death of 'quarantine violator'

Franco Luna (Philstar.com) - April 7, 2021 - 1:42pm

MANILA, Philippines — The national police disclosed Wednesday that it relieved and reassigned Police Lt. Col. Marlo Solero, the chief of police of General Trias City in Cavite, and two other cops after determining that they did indeed force quarantine violators to do exercises as a punishment, which led to the death of one 28-year-old. 

First reported by Rappler, Darren Manaog was on his way to get water after curfew hours when he was apprehended and made to do 300 rounds of a pumping exercise, according to an account by his cousin posted to Facebook. He passed away from a stroke days later. 

The relief of the three cops was confirmed in a text message to reporters by Police Brig. Gen. Ildebrandi Usana, spokesperson for the Philippine National Police. It should be noted, however, that relief from a position is not the same as dismissal from service. 

"He'll be in the provincial office based in Imus for now," Usana told Philstar.com in Filipino in a phone call. "The two cops are now placed under the direct supervision and control of the provincial director."

According to Usana, the decision came after Police Col. Marlon Santos, Cavite provincial director, "went straight to General Trias to validate for himself from vital witnesses what actually happened."

PILIPINO STAR NGAYON: Pulis Gentri itinangging may namatay sa parusang 'pumping'

This came after police initially denied they forced curfew violators to do exercises. 

"We only have to make it clear on the Cavite case that physical exercises are not bad. They are necessary for everyone to live a healthy life. But there is also such a thing as excessive physical exercise that could be harmful to a person with medical history," Usana said. 

Other cases of abuse at the hands of power-tripping enforcers have been well-documented amid the enhanced community quarantine.

More than 9,000 police personnel have been deployed to man the 1,106 quarantine control points within the so-called NCR Plus bubble to strictly implement protocols amid the ECQ and uniform curfew.

On the first day of the second ECQ alone, the PNP disclosed that nearly 2,600 were arrested for various quarantine violations across Metro Manila, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna and Rizal.

READ: Back to 'disiplina'? On second day of ECQ, stories of power-tripping enforcers

This comes on top of the over 17,000 who have already been apprehended for supposed quarantine violations since the PNP started deploying cops to enforce uniform curfew hours in the capital region.

"Cruel and degrading punishments are clearly against our laws. This should be understood by law enforcement agents: the punishment of pushups and any other pain is prohibited. 'Pagsibag' is not enough," Rep. Carlos Zarate (Bayan Muna) said in a tweet in response to the development. 

"This is to also assure that the PNP does not tolerate any act that is inimical to the best interest of our people," Usana said.

with a report from James Relativo and News5

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