Gen. Trias City police chief sacked

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    THE chief of police of General Trias City, Cavite has been dismissed from service after it was established that city policemen required quarantine violators to do physical exercise as punishment for going against lockdown guidelines.

    Col. Marlon Santos, director of the Cavite Provincial Police Office, sacked General Trias City police chief Lt. Col. Marlo Nillo Solero after two quarantine violators confirmed reports that they were ordered to do physical exercise as punishment, contrary to the statement of Solero that they were merely asked to pick up trash in the vicinity of the Bacoor City Hall.

    PNP spokesman Brig. Gen. Ildebrandi Usana said an investigation conducted by Santos’ office showed that Cpl. Jerome Vibar and Cpl. Kenneth Mercen, who have also been relieved from their post, gave the orders to the quarantine violators.

    One of these individuals, 28-year-old Darren Peñaredondo, died a few days later due to over-fatigue after he was asked to do 300 push-ups.

    Peñaredondo was apprehended by barangay officials on Thursday last week for violating curfew hours. Police said Peñaredondo, whose relatives said was only buying water, was caught not wearing a face mask and face shield.

    Peñaredondo and seven other quarantine violators who were apprehended by the barangay officials were later turned over to the city police, whose personnel allegedly forced them to do push ups.

    Peñaredondo’s cousin, Adrian Lucena, said his cousin was initially asked to do 100 pumping exercise as a punishment for the violation. He said Peñaredondo ended up doing 300 repetitions because he could not keep up with the other violators.

    Peñaredondo was sent home on Friday morning and had difficulty walking. He had seizures the following day and later died at the hospital.

    On Tuesday, Solero denied his men asked Peñaredondo and the other quarantine violators to do any form of physical exercise. He said they were merely asked to do community service, specifically picking of trash, on Friday morning and later released. He said Peñaredondo was in good physical condition when released.

    “The provincial director of Cavite has relieved the chief of police of General Trias after finding out that out that two of the quarantine violators executed sworn affidavits that they were indeed made to do physical exercises (knee bender),” said Usana.

    “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,” said Usana.

    President Duterte last night skipped his weekly “Talk to the People” about the government’s campaign against the COVID-19 pandemic “in light of the rising number of active COVID-19 cases” in the country and in consideration of the well-being of all the staff and personnel who would be involved in the program.

    The President has been addressing the nation either on Monday or Wednesday night since community quarantines were implemented in the country.

    “The Palace confirms that President Rodrigo Roa Duterte will not have a Talk to the People Address tonight, April 7, 2021, in light of the rising number of active COVID-19 cases. The physical safety of the President remains our utmost concern. In addition, the preparation for the Talk to the People Address entails a number of staff complement and we also take due consideration of their well-being,” presidential spokesman Harry Roque said.

    Roque made the statement after Sen. Christopher Go said Duterte is not giving his weekly address to keep him safe after many members of the Presidential Security Group (PSG) – who is tasked to protect the President – tested positive for COVID-19.

    Go said Duterte, who is in good condition, is in Manila and cannot travel to Davao City due to the extended enhanced community quarantine in the NCR Plus bubble.

    Fifteen Mindanao-bound travelers were arrested at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Pasay City after presenting fraudulent RT-PCR test results during the implementation of enhanced community quarantine in Metro Manila and the nearby provinces of Cavite, Laguna, Rizal and Bulacan.

    Usana said the 15 suspects were apprehended on separate incidents since March 29.
    Usana said two or three of the suspects have been advised by authorities to go on quarantine. He did not elaborate.

    Usana said the 15, who were bound for Davao and Zamboanga cities, were apprehended by operatives of the PNP Aviation Security Group.

    He said the 15 are facing charges for violation of Republic Act 11232 or the Law on Reporting of Communicable Diseases. The offense is punishable by fine of up to P50,000 and imprisonment of one to six months.

    PNP chief Gen. Debold Sinas reiterated his warning to the public against using fake RT-PCR test results.

    “Let me reiterate to the public that using fake laboratory results poses a danger to everyone. Our frontliners are risking their lives to save yours, a little bit of concern and cooperation is what we need to fight this unseen enemy,” said Sinas. – With Jocelyn Montemayor