An American enjoying a vacation in Cebu City with a friend has died in jail after telling police he could not breathe.
Mark Pikl, aged 51, was arrested after allegedly going “berserk” and later died in Cebu City Jail.
Skip Pikl, his brother, said the reports were “troubling.” Pikl, an American veteran and retired correctional officer, “would not have acted that way,” he said.
Family members said their brother walked in pain and was due to have surgery to correct the problem.
Richard Woodling, consul general at the Philippine Consulate General of Portland, said the circumstances around Pikl’s death sound “rather suspicious.”
A report on the incident said that Pikle was arrested on Wednesday after “getting wild” near a hotel in Fuente Osmeña.
Pikl reportedly complained to police officers that he could not breathe while being detained in a holding cell.
In a statement, Cebu City Police said: “We assure the public that there was no foul play.”
The cause of Pikl’s death is still under investigation and an autopsy is yet to be conducted.
Brian Pikl, another of the dead man’s brothers, said the family was working with the State Department and the American Consular Agency to conduct an autopsy and return Pikl’s body to the State of Oregon.
Locals suspected foul play after hearing of the death of the American, as the jail where he died was the subject of media attention earlier this year when an 11-year-old died after she was beaten and electrocuted in detention.
Officers at the jail are facing murder charges for the incident involving the young girl.