Magalong: Politics ‘too dirty, too cruel’
BAGUIO CITY—Mayor Benjamin Magalong on Monday said he and his family were still dealing with “inhumane” treatment on social media following the controversial party in a hotel here last month.
There were no indications that Magalong would reconsider his decision to resign from his post as the government’s contact tracing czar after an online backlash over his presence in the controversial party.
The mayor had previously admitted that health protocols were breached during the birthday bash of events producer Tim Yap at The Manor hotel in Camp John Hay on June 17. He said he and his wife attended the event to thank Yap for promoting the local tourism of the city.
Addressing employees on the first day of the city’s return to the stricter general community quarantine, Magalong said his family, especially his wife, Arlene, had been hurt the most.
“I did something wrong. I failed to do a spot correction [of health violations],” he said, referring to the failure of Yap and some of his guests to observe the requirement to don face masks and observe physical distancing during the bash.
But the mayor was not prepared for the intensity of the backlash.
“People who I trusted were actually my enemies who unleashed their social media warriors—coming out with speculations and intriguing comments,” Magalong said.
He said “too many lies” were spread, which made him feel “abandoned” by some people.
“Even my wife is afraid to go out now,” Magalong said.
He added: “Politics is not only crazy—it is cruel, it’s deceitful, it’s deceptive, it defies humanity, it defies ethics, it is dirty.”A retired police general who had headed the Crime Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) of the Philippine National Police, Magalong is considered as a political rookie, serving his first term as mayor.
His 2019 mayoral victory had been attributed to his fact-finding report as then CIDG chief, which concluded that former President Benigno Aquino III and two police officials were accountable for the 2015 botched operation in Mamasapano town of Maguindanao province that killed 44 Special Action Force troops.
“In the PNP, I was knocked down many times and I rose up and took that opportunity to improve myself and improve leadership,” Magalong said.
Yap and actress KC Concepcion, along with Magalong’s wife, had already paid fines for violating Baguio’s quarantine protocols.
The Manor also paid a P9,000 fine. —VINCENT CABREZA INQ
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.