Magalong chides Zamora over quarantine breach

Artemio Dumlao - The Philippine Star

BAGUIO CITY , Philippines —  No one, regardless of rank and position, is exempted from the quarantine protocols imposed by the city government to contain the coronavirus disease 2019 or COVID-19, Mayor Benjamin Magalong yesterday.

Magalong issued the statement after a group of visiting officials led by San Juan City Mayor Francis Zamora ignored a quarantine checkpoint on Kennon Road on Friday.

Zamora apologized to the people of Baguio for the incident. He said his group did not intend to break quarantine protocols of any local government unit.

In a statement, Magalong said Zamora and his convoy of six vehicles with uniformed personnel on board arrived at the Kennon Road quarantine checkpoint at past 2 p.m.

When checkpoint personnel pulled over the vehicles, the driver of the lead car slowed down and told the personnel that he was part of Zamora’s convoy.

The vehicles sped away to the Baguio Country Club without undergoing health check.

At the club, the members of the convoy were asked to present medical clearance.

When they failed to present any, they were asked to undergo triage examination conducted by the city health personnel, who set up a triage facility at the club.

Magalong said Zamora and his group clearly violated Baguio City’s health protocols, especially the regulatory mechanism put up at the border checkpoint.

He said Zamora informed him about the incident and apologized profusely.

“Zamora said he was asleep in the car when the convoy passed through the checkpoint,” Magalong said.

Zamora said the police escort in the lead vehicle ignored the standard border protection measure being imposed not only by the city government of Baguio, but of his city as well.

Magalong said he was in Manila on official business when the incident occurred.

He said that before he left for Manila, he knew about Zamora’s visit and he instructed his men to ensure that the San Juan mayor and his group would go through triage examination.

Magalong said he filed separate complaints against Zamora’s lead police escort before the office of Gen. Camilo Cascolan, deputy chief for administration of the Philippine National Police, as well as with the San Juan City police and Baguio City police.

He said the officer committed a serious breach of standing quarantine protocols that the city has been implementing along its entry points, including Kennon, Naguillian and Magsaysay roads.

Due to the incident, netizens want Zamora declared persona non grata in Baguio.Neil Jayson Servallos

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