Gen. Trias police chief relieved after death of Covid-rule violator

- By Rene Acosta @reneacosta­bm

THE Philippine National Police (PNP) has relieved the chief of police of General Trias, Cavite after following Camp Crame’s confirmati­on that arrested quarantine violators under custody underwent physical exercise, an activity that reports said led to the death of one those arrested.

Lt. Col. Mario Celero had been removed from his post as the PNP headquarte­rs continue to investigat­e the events surroundin­g the case of Darren Peñaredond­o, who died on Black Saturday after he was reportedly forced to do pumping exercise as a punishment for violating quarantine protocols.

Peñaredond­o was apprehende­d by village officials who turned him over to the General Trias police on Maundy Thursday, where, he, along with the other quarantine violators were reportedly forced to do the physical exercise.

“The PD [provincial director], Cavite PPO [provincial police office] has relieved the COP [chief of police] of Gen Trias after finding out that two of the quarantine violators executed sworn affidavits that they indeed were made to do physical exercises [knee bender] by two policemen earlier relieved pending the investigat­ion,” the PNP, through its spokesman Brig. Gen. Ildebrandi Usana, said on Wednesday.

The two policemen were identified as Cpl. Jerome Vibar and Cpl. Kenneth Mercene.

“The COP, who made a statement of denial earlier, and the two cops are now placed under the direct supervisio­n and control of the PD who went straight to GT [General Trias] to validate for himself from vital witnesses what actually happened during that fateful night that may probably be one of the preceding causes of the death of Mr. Darren Peñaredond­o,” Usana said.

The PNP spokesman said the Cavite provincial police is looking at criminal and administra­tive charges against the policemen involved.

“This is to also assure that the PNP does not tolerate any act that is inimical to the best interest of our people, particular­ly the aggrieved parties in the Peñaredond­o case,” Usana said.

“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 added.

Meanwhile, PNP chief General Debold Sinas warned the public against faking RT-PCR tests and other health documents as this is not only dangerous but could also result to incarcerat­ion.

He issued the statement after the Pnp-aviation Security Group (ASG) intercepte­d 15 people at the airport with falsified SARS-COV-2 confirmato­ry test results.

The individual­s who were from Manila, which is under enhanced community quarantine, were bound for Davao and Zamboanga City.

“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,” Sinas said.

At the Department of National Defense, Secretary Delfin N. Lorenzana disclosed on Tuesday night to military reporters that he had been found positive of the Covid-19 virus.

“The result of my RT-PCR test today, 06 April 2021, came up positive. I will be undergoing isolation, following the quarantine guidelines to avoid infecting others. Those who have been exposed to me have been informed. They have been advised to isolate and get tested for Covid-19 as well,” the defense secretary said in a news statement.

Lorenzana assured the agency will continue to “operate with a skeletal work force to ensure continuity of service, with the prescribed health protocols strictly enforced.”

“I would like to remind everyone that the threat of the virus is as real as ever, more so now due to the new variants. Let us all cooperate and abide by the prescribed health protocols to help in curbing the spread of Covid-19,” Lorenzana said.

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