500 in Baguio rally behind Magalong, pray for his safety
BAGUIO CITY—At least 500 people here on Sunday, Oct. 6, rallied behind Mayor Benjamin Magalong, former head of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG), amid threats to his safety following his Senate testimony alleging recycling of drugs involving rogue police officers.
Organized by the Baguio-Benguet Ecumenical Group, the prayer rally at the Malcolm Square here saw an emotional Magalong who told the crowd that “evil will not triumph.”
“When we see that there is something wrong in an institution, we simply have to fight for what is right and tell the truth,” Magalong said.
He said his revelations in the Senate hearings were “saving the youth from illegals drugs.”
The Senate Blue Ribbon committee is investigating irregularities on the implementation of the Good Conduct Time Allowance (GCTA) and its link to the thriving illegal drug trade that involves rogue policemen.
Magalong’s testimony revived unresolved cases involving so-called “ninja cops” or policemen pilfering seized drugs and selling it through dealers and pushers.
He described the support he had been receiving from Baguio people as “overwhelming,” adding that they were “giving me the strength to fight it out.”
“I never expected that many will attend [the prayer rally.] What comforts me is that we’re fighting for the youth,” he said.
Addressing his critics who are attacking his character, Magalong said: “At the end of the day, I feel and I believe that the Lord will always be there to guide us.”
During the gathering, leaders of different ecumenical groups prayed over Magalong and lit candles to “implore the divine intervention for the mayor’s safety.”
On Monday, Magalong apologized for tighter security at City Hall.
All entrances to the building, except for the main one, are restricted. Everyone entering the hall is frisked. Policemen, some in plainclothes, roam the City Hall compound.
“I know this has caused discomfort and inconvenience to employees and visitors. Please bear with us,” the mayor said during the flag-raising ceremony./TSB
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