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Magalong to consider Tim Yapâs âcontributionsâ to Baguio in COVID-19 protocol breach probe
Tim Yap poses for a photo at The Manor in Camp John Hay in Baguio City.
Tim Yap/Instagram

Magalong to consider Tim Yap’s ‘contributions’ to Baguio in COVID-19 protocol breach probe

(Philstar.com) - January 27, 2021 - 11:04am

MANILA, Philippines — Baguio City Mayor Benjamin Magalong said Wednesday that he would consider Tim Yap’s “contributions” to the city in the ongoing investigation into the COVID-19 protocol breaches during the socialite’s birthday party which was attended by the local chief executive himself.

Magalong, who is also the government's contact tracing czar, told ABS-CBN’s TeleRadyo that while he saw protocol breaches during the party, particularly with the failure of guests to wear masks, he said that he has told Yap not to worry over the investigation.

“Don’t you worry about it. Your contributions to Baguio City, promoting, you’ve been saying good words about Baguio, the help that you’ve extended to our artists — we’re considering all of this,” he said, partly in Filipino.

Magalong also said that he understands why people at the party, including his wife, failed to comply with COVID-19 protocols.

“We’re just human. Sometimes we are so engaged in one particular activity which is so fun that sometimes we forget,” he said, partly in Filipino.

Nonetheless, The Manor, the hotel where Tim Yap’s birthday party was held, has been asked to explain the incident, Magalong said.

Mayor at The Manor

Magalong admitted that he attended the party where he saw violations of COVID-19 protocols that the city is implementing.

He said he was invited by Yap after he and his group went to an art exhibit in Baguio and purchased numerous artworks. The mayor said he and his wife went to the party to say thanks to Yap and his group.

Arriving at the party, Magalong said he and his wife wore masks, which they only took off when taking pictures and while eating. He also said that he reminded some of the guests at the party to wear their masks.

But Magalong said that the guests were too “engrossed” and “engaged” that when dancers went to tables to invite guests to dance with them while they were eating, they just got up and danced without putting their masks on.

“A lot of them were compliant, it’s just that the timing was off,” he said, partly in Filipino.

Yap relayed a similar story in an interview with CNN Philippines, saying that they got “carried away” when a dancer pulled everyone for a community dance while they were on their way to dinner.

He said in separate TV interviews that they followed health and safety protocols, with everyone at the party getting tested and being provided with a mask.

He also said that he organized his birthday party to promote local tourism and help restart the economy.

Baguio City, an area under modified general community quarantine, opened its doors to tourists from GCQ areas in Luzon last October 22. — Xave Gregorio

BENJAMIN MAGALONG TIM YAP
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