By Zaldy Comanda
BAGUIO CITY – Mayor Benjie Magalong on Tuesday assured residents of this city that it was now “business as usual” despite the reported threats to his life.
Magalong told The Manila Bulletin that despite the threats he has been receiving following his testimony at the Senate last week pertaining to the controversial issue on “ninja cops”, “my brand of public service will not change and my goal to make change in Baguio remains.”
He added that the threats will not stop him from pursuing his goals, which was the primary reason for running as mayor.
“Whatever is happening right now is my personal concern. I just divulged the truth,” said Magalong.
He said the last three weeks had been very stressful. But after the hearing, he immediately went back to the city to resume his work and prove that his choice to testify before the Senate did not affect his job as the city’s mayor.
Starting October 3, strict inspection and security check were implemented for all those entering city hall. Additional security personnel for him and his family were also put in place as a new arrangement to ensure the mayor’s safety.
“The security check at city hall should have been done way before like in other local government units to protect everyone, “said netizen Agnes Montoya,
Magalong had earlier said he was informed of the presence of a known “hitman” who was allegedly commissioned to take him out.
“These are the only changes in my life, I cannot sleep, I added security personnel. I have asked my children to come home for their security. But this will not affect my work in the city as mayor,” he said.
“There are just changes in the mode of security when I am invited, but I hope our people will understand the situation,” said Magalong.
He added that his trusted police officers have offered to secure him and also monitor threats to his life.
The former chief of the Philippine National Police-Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (PNP-CIDG) said he received threats twice through his phone on September 25 and 29. but the number was already inactive when checked.
In several meetings and engagements, he has repeatedly said: “Don’t you worry, do not worry about the security of your mayor, our job for you will continue.”
On October 6, a prayer rally for the safety of Magalong was conducted by 10 religious leaders, including Muslims. A total of 500 participated in the event.