Magalong walks back on Zamoraâs quarantine breach
This composite photo shows Baguio City Mayor Benjamin Magalong (left), who earlier chided San Juan City Mayor Francis Zamora (right) for supposedly violating quarantine protocols imposed by the city government to contain COVID-19.
The STAR/Geremy Pintolo, file | The STAR/Boy Santos, file
Magalong walks back on Zamora’s quarantine breach
Artemio Dumlao ( - June 8, 2020 - 3:30pm

BAGUIO CITY, Philippines — Baguio City Mayor Benjamin Magalong seemingly softened on his stance against San Juan City Mayor Francis Zamora and his entourage of 30, who on Friday breached established COVID-19 prevention protocols in the city.

“We appeal to the public to exercise greater discernment and restraint in prejudging, (Zamora and the members of his group),”  the mayor in a statement Monday.

While Magalong admitted he “understand(s) the public’s displeasure over the reported breach,”  the mayor urged, “Let us however bear in mind that the full appreciation of facts and the proper evaluation of evidence at hand are best left to our courts or the rightful quasi-judicial bodies. This is how justice works.”

Magalong said “we have accepted the apologies of Mayor Zamora, no doubt conveyed in sincerity. But in my talk with him, I emphasized that it is to the people of Baguio, not I, who deserve to do that. After all, it is their primordial health and well-being that Mayors like him and I are consecrated to work for in these troubled times.”

Enraged netizens have pitched an online petition urging city officials to declare Zamora “persona non grata”.

The city mayor though explained “in any case, we should not lose sight of the fact that his conveyed apology, no matter how profuse, does not mean that he and his group are now freed of any legal consequences for their actions.”  It is better left for the courts, he thought.

Magalong, dousing enraged complaints by Baguio residents, especially those facing difficulties in acquiring out-of-town travels, said "complaints have already been lodged and the PNP hierarchy has directed a formal investigation, purposely to determine culpability, based on our complaint." 

"Let them prove their innocence, as they have manifested before us, before the proper judicial or quasi-judicial bodies," he stressed.

Meanwhile, NCRPO chief Maj. Gen. Debold Sinas, who is also facing criminal and administrative charges for holding a birthday gathering last month, ordered the immediate relief five police escorts of Zamora.

"I will not condone any wrongdoing of our Police Officers in the implementation of the Community Quarantine Protocols, of held responsible," Sinas said in a statement.

  • Latest
  • Trending
Are you sure you want to log out?
Login is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

or sign in with