Baguio City mayor admits he ‘cannot refuse’ if Duterte asks him to stay
MANILA, Philippines — While he reiterated that his resignation was irrevocable, Baguio City mayor Benjamin Magalong admitted that he “cannot refuse” should President Rodrigo Duterte ask him to stay in his post as contact tracing czar.
“Well it is a situation where no one can refuse if the President tells you to stay and perform your job. I cannot refuse the President,” Magalong said Tuesday in an interview over ABS-CBN News Channel when asked what if the President asks him to stay in his post.
“Pero hindi naman na siguro aabot kay Presidente, ang dami nang problema ni Presidente. Siguro at the level of [vaccine czar] Secretary [Carlito] Galvez, makapagdesisyon na,” he added.
(But I think it will not reach the President, he has a lot of problems to deal with. Maybe at the level of Secretary Galvez, there would be a decision.)
Magalong has insisted that his resignation was irrevocable even after Galvez, chief implementer of the National Task Force against Covid-19 and Malacañang rejected it.
The President still fully trusts and respects Magalong despite his admission that there were lapses in a party held at his jurisdiction in Baguio City, Malacañang said.
“I continue to perform my job as contact tracing lead…But I will meet with Secretary Galvez this week together with Secretary Vince [Dizon] and again, I would like to reiterate that my resignation is irrevocable. But I will continue to help in the tracing,” said Magalong.
The Baguio City mayor also stressed the importance of accountability in public service, saying he “failed” to perform his duty when he attended the party where health protocols were violated.
“I’m strongly promoting accountability in public service and I came with a pronouncement that I’m resigning irrevocably. I have to stick to that word, I have to stand by my declaration,” he said.
“I’m not denying that I failed to perform my job. I should have reminded people, I should have cautioned people to wear their masks but hindi ko nagawa ‘yun (I didn’t do it)… I am still accountable for my own personal actions,” he went on.
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