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Duterte wants Magalong to stay as contact tracing czar â Palace
File photo shows Baguio City Mayor Benjamin Magalong.
The STAR/Mong Pintolo, file

Duterte wants Magalong to stay as contact tracing czar — Palace

Alexis Romero (Philstar.com) - February 2, 2021 - 4:18pm

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte wants Baguio City Mayor Benjamin Magalong to remain as the government's contact tracing czar even if the local chief executive has insisted that his resignation was irrevocable.

Magalong quit as chief of COVID-19 contact tracing efforts after drawing flak for supposedly tolerating health protocol violations at a party he had attended last month.

While he insists that his resignation was irrevocable, Magalong has also expressed willingness to remain in his post if asked to do so by Duterte.

"I have heard with my own two ears, nothing but words of praises for Mayor Magalong from the president. So, of course I am sure, 100% sure that the president would want Mayor Magalong to stay on as contact tracing czar," presidential spokesman Harry Roque said at a press briefing Tuesday.

COVID-19 policy chief implementer Carlito Galvez, Jr. said he would go to Baguio City to talk to Magalong and convince him to stay.

"He (Magalong) is irreplaceable," Galvez said.

COVID-19 policy deputy chief implementer Vince Dizon said Filipinos need the services of Magalong, whom he described as the "penultimate public servant."

"Mayor Benjie is very important in our response (effort)... He acknowledged his mistake. All of us commit mistakes. But his contribution to our COVID response is invaluable and irreplaceable," Dizon said.

2019 N-COV BENJAMIN MAGALONG BENNETT PALAD NOVEL CORONAVIRUS
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