LAWMAKERS from the Bayan Muna party-list group are seeking an investigation into the death of a 28-year-old man, who was reportedly forced by the police to do at least 300 body pumps as punishment for violating curfew.
Representatives Eufemia Cullamat, Carlos Isagani Zarate, and Ferdinand Gaite on Thursday filed House Resolution (HR) 1697, urging the Committee on Human Rights of the House of Representatives to look into the incident.
Darren Peñadorendo went out to get water past curfew hours on April 1 when he was apprehended by enforcers and ordered to perform 300 strenuous exercise routines. He later suffered seizures, and was rushed to the hospital, where he eventually died.
In the copy of HR 1697 sent to reporters, it was said that while Peñadorendo’s death was ruled to be caused by a stroke triggered by hypertension, “physical activities may have been a factor,” according to health professionals.
It also stressed that “police abuse over quarantine violations are not new,” and that more than 100,000 people had already been arrested from March to September 2020 alone.
The Bayan Muna lawmakers reiterated: “Laws and rules should serve the interest of our people, and should not be weaponized to suppress their rights and oppress them.”
“It is imperative for members of Congress, as representatives of our people, to defend the rights of our people and check on excesses and violations committed against them, especially in the time of the crisis,” they said.