Baguio mayor dismayed over critics' politicking amid coronavirus crisis

Published April 5, 2020, 11:51 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By Hanah Tabios 

Baguio City Mayor Benjamin Magalong has appealed to his critics to set aside politics and instead do their share to overcome the spread of the coronavirus in their city.

Former chief of the Philippine National Police Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (PNP-CIDG) and now Mayor Benjamin Magalong, testifies at the resumption of the Senate probe on the release of hundreds of convicts under the shortened serving of their sentence for good behaviour known as "Good Conduct Time Allowance or GCTA Thursday, Oct. 3, 2019 in suburban Pasay city south of Manila, Philippines. The Senate probe has now shifted to the alleged corruption in the police force by rouge police officers in its operations against the illegal drug trade. (AP Photo/Bullit Marquez)
Mayor Benjamin Magalong (AP Photo / Bullit Marquez / FILE PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN)

The local chief executive released a statement Sunday, saying it saddens him that some are bold enough to talk politics, even if the country is in distress.

“These people had dared to remind me either subtly or openly of my supposed political obligations to them: ‘Mayor, huwag mo kaming kalalimutan, alalahanin mo sinuportahan ka namin,'” he said.
(Mayor, don’t forget us, remember that we supported you.)

The former police general-turned-public servant said these words were “disheartening and downright infuriating” as his administration has been exerting its utmost efforts to protect the people of Baguio against COVID-19.

In fact, prior to the Luzon-wide lockdown, Magalong was among the first few local leaders who canceled all crowd-attracting activities, including the famous Panagbenga Festival, in the country’s “summer capital.”

“All we wanted is to prevent the further transmission of the virus while ensuring the steady provision of the basic needs of the community. After all, this virus does not choose its victims,” he said, adding that political advancement is the “farthest thing he has in the mind right now.”

On April 3, the Baguio City Health Office has recorded zero positive cases for six straight days, which strengthened their claim that Baguio has already attained a flat epidemiology curve.

But the local health official said it does not mean that they will now recommend the lifting of border closures in and out of the city.