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Quarantine violator in Laguna dies after alleged beating by barangay tanods

By Brooke Villanueva Published Apr 12, 2021 11:48 am

A quarantine violator died after an alleged beating by village watchmen in Calamba, Laguna.

Ernanie Lumban Jimenez, a Quezon resident who moved to Laguna to look for a job, was caught outside his house last Wednesday, April 7, at around 11 p.m. As part of the NCR Plus Bubble, it can be noted that the area was placed under enhanced community quarantine until April 11, with an imposed curfew from 6 p.m. to 5 a.m. In an interview with Rappler, his relative said Jimenez must have overlooked the time as he had been drinking with his brother.

According to Laguna police spokesperson Lt. Col. Chitadel Gaoiran, the Barangay Turbina representatives claimed that the victim tried to escape from punishment when he was allowed to urinate at the village hall. “Sa side nung barangay, sinabing nagkahabulan sila dahil umano nagtangkang tumakas ito. Sa pagkahabulan ay nadapa o natapilok ang tao kaya po siya ay natumba at nabagok ang ulo,” Gaoiran said in an interview on ABS-CBN’s Teleradyo.

Gaoiran added, however, that the victim’s relative said he was kicked by the village guards, which made him fall and hit his head. “Sa side ng victim, ito ay minaltrato at binugbog kaya ‘yun po ang sanhi na siya ay natumba at nabagok ang ulo,” she explained.

His cousin additionally told Rappler that three suspects—two identified as Arjay Bahan Abierta and Joel Oriel Ortiz—then started beating him up as they asked the residents not to meddle with the situation. It only ended upon the arrival of Jimenez’ relatives.

Jimenez passed away on Friday, April 9, at the Calamba Medical Center Hospital.

Photo from Anakbayan Calamba's Facebook page

His family, despite allegedly getting threatened by the barangay captain, is now in search of justice for Jimenez. “Bigyan po sana ng hustisya at saka sana po patas lang po ‘yung laban, Ma’am,” Jimenez’ cousin told Rappler. “Wala pong kampihan, kung ano lang po yung nangyari. Kasi po, Ma’am, sabi po nung kapitan daw, lalaban din daw sila."

Local police confirmed to the news website that they are now looking into a possible homicide case against the tanods linked to the incident.

This isn’t the first time someone has died in relation to quarantine violations. Earlier this month, a curfew violator in General Trias, Cavite breathed his last due to a stroke after being forced to do 300 rounds of squats as punishment.

Article thumbnails from Anakbayan Calamba's Facebook page