Palace says it can’t find replacement for Magalong as Covid-19 tracing czar
MANILA, Philippines — Malacañang on Sunday said it could not find a replacement for Baguio City Mayor Benjamin Magalong as the government’s contact tracing czar in its Covid-19 response.
Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque also expressed hope that Magalong would continue his stint as tracing czar even after stressing that his resignation from the post was “irrevocable.”
“Well, unang-una po noong nagsumite ng letter si Mayor Magalong, wala pong nakasulat doon na it is irrevocable. Kaya po ang sinabi nga namin ay it is subject to acceptance at hindi naman po tinanggap ng NTF [National Task Force against Covid-19] at doon na po tayo tumigil doon,” Roque said in an interview over dzBB.
(Well, first of all, when Mayor Magalong submitted his letter of resignation, it did not indicate it was irrevocable. That’s why we said it was subject to acceptance and the NTF did not accept it.)
“At sa tingin ko naman mahimas-himasan lang si Mayor Magalong at ipagpapatuloy po niya dahil wala po talaga tayong mahahanap na kapalit ni Mayor Magalong, dahil siya po talaga ang naging author noong ating contact tracing formula dito sa Pilipinas,” he added.
(I think once Mayor Magalong comes back to his senses, he will resume his work because we cannot find anyone to replace Mayor Magalong since he’s the author of the contact tracing formula in the Philippines.)
Asked if Magalong has agreed to stay in his post, Roque said the government will wait to see what will happen next.
Previously, Magalong admitted he cannot refuse an instruction from President Rodrigo Duterte to remain at his post.
Roque said the President surely wants Magalong to remain as the country’s tracing czar as the chief executive has “nothing but praises” for the Baguio City mayor.
Magalong earlier resigned after he admitted health protocol lapses during a party thrown by events host Tim Yap in Baguio City where he and his wife had attended.
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