Duterte still fully trusts, respects Magalong despite lapses in Baguio City party
MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte’s full trust and respect for Baguio City mayor and contact tracing czar Benjamin Magalong stays despite acknowledged lapses in the implementation of health protocols during a recent party hosted by eventologist Tim Yap in the City of Pines.
Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said this Thursday, as he asked the public to let the course of investigation on the widely-criticized social gathering in Baguio City move.
“Itong kontrobersyal na insidente don sa Baguio, nangako naman po ang mayor ng aking siyudad na aaktuhan po itong mga nangyari dito. Humingi na po siya ng abiso na nagkaroon nga ng lapses at ang sabi po nya, pati sarili niyang misis pwede niyang impose-an ng fine,” presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said in an online briefing.
(This controversial incident in Baguio, the mayor already vowed to act on what happened. He admitted there were lapses and he even said that he could even impose a fine on his wife.)
“Hayaan na po natin na umusad ang proseso. Buo po ang tiwala ng Presidente kay mayor Magalong, buo po ang kanyang respeto kay mayor Magalong and when he says that the law will be implemented, trust that Mayor Magalong will implement the law,” he added.
(Let the process advance. The President trusts mayor Magalong, he has respect for mayor Magalong and when he says that the law will be implemented, trust that Mayor Magalong will implement the law.)
Roque noted that no one is spared, regardless of gender or social status, from the implementation of health protocols.
“Pagdating sa pagpapatupad ng protocols, wala po tayong kinikilala. Mayaman, mahirap, babae, lalaki, kung ano man ang [kasarian]. Kinakailangan po yan ipatupad,” he said.
(When it comes to implementing protocols, we are not sparing anyone. Rich, poor, women, men, whatever their gender is. It must be implemented.)
Despite fierce criticism towards Magalong, Roque said the Baguio City mayor’s attendance at Yap’s birthday celebration is “not actionable.”
“Alam mo, ang personal liability depends kung meron siyang personal na ginawa. Mere attendance is not actionable,” said Roque.
(Personal liability depends if he had done anything. Mere attendance is not actionable.)
“Siya ba’y nag-observe ng social distancing, siya ba’y naka-mask? Kung ganon naman eh wala siyang liability. I cannot come up to any conclusion kasi hindi ko alam kung nagkaroon ng personal breach si Mayor Magalong,” he added.
(Did he observe social distancing? Did he wear a mask? If yes, there’s no liability. I cannot come up with any conclusion since I don’t know if he had a personal breach.)
Magalong himself admitted there were lapses in health rules compliance by party guests, including his wife.
Yap, on the other hand, defended his hosting of the party, saying its purpose was to promote Baguio City tourism, arts, and culture.
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