BAGUIO CITY – The issue of Baguio City Mayor Benjamin Magalong regarding his recent resignation as the country’s contact tracing czar is turning out to be deep and personal.
During a flag racing ceremony Monday morning at the city hall, Magalong revealed one of his supposed closed friends is having a hand, a major one at that, in trying to besmirch his reputation via social media, specifically his character as a tough local executive.
“People who I trusted are actually my enemies, unleashing the social media warriors making a lot of speculations without verifying the facts, coming with intriguing comments, destroying the reputation of someone willing to sacrifice everything for the sake of good governance,” said Magalong who declined to name his supposed friend who is behind the alleged black propaganda against him.
Magalong drew criticisms on social media for attending celebrity Tim Yap’s birthday at The Manor Hotel in Baguio City where Magalong’s wife was seen without a face mask in a photo with one of the celebrities in attendance that night.
“My nagtext sa akin at sinabi ko na andon ako at tinawagan ko siya at ipinaliwanag ko ang totoong nangyari (somebody texted me whom i called and explained to that person what really transpired),” said Magalong.
Magalong has highly been touted as one of the best in the country’s COVID-19 response team. His tough protocols in Baguio puts the city in a relatively better position to fight against the spread of the virus, leading to him being named by President Rodrigo Duterte as the country’s contact tracing chief.
“I got hit left and right, the incident became something sensational, they started posting own speculations all over social media, over the news, there was a lot misinterpretation, showing the Mayor socializing that in fact the truth of the matter is I was there just to express our heartfelt thanks to someone who is helping Baguio,” said Magalong.
“As a member of AITF and the same time the Mayor of Baguio forgot to perform my function on my job as crisis manager, that’s the reason why I tendered my resignation,” added Magalong.
But according to Presidential spokesman Harry Roque, the President has nothing but praises for Magalong’s work in the government’s pandemic response.
“I have heard with my own two ears. Nothing but words of praises for Mayor Magalong from the President,” Roque said during a televised press briefing.
“Of course, I am sure, I am 100 percent sure that the President would want Mayor Magalong to stay on as contact tracing czar,” he added.
“As I, a member of IATF and at the same time the Mayor of Baguio forgot to perform my function as crisis manager, that’s the reason why I tendered my resignation, but it was not stated in my letter that it was irrevocable,” disclosed Magalong
Magalong meantime said that while he is bent on stepping down as contact tracing czar, leaving Baguio as the city’s top executive is not part of his immediate plans.
“Ginawa ko ang magsumite ng resignation bilang pagtanggap sa aking kamalian sa araw na iyon sa paglabag ng health protocols, na ako mismo ang nagpapatupad, pero ang batikusin ako at ang aking pamilya, na ako ang mag-resign bilang Mayor ay hindi magagawa, dahil ako ay elected at ipatupad ang mga proyekto, programa para sa pagbabago ng lungsod, ” said Magalong.