The League of Cities of the Philippines (LCP) threw its support yesterday behind Baguio City Mayor Benjamin Magalong, who has been criticized for attending a celebrity birthday party held in his city last month.
In a statement signed by Bacolod City Mayor Evelio Leonardia, national president of the LCP, the league said they are “aware of Mayor Magalong’s recent involvement in a social gathering wherein lapses in protocols were observed”.
The LCP noted that the mayor’s “participation was intended to show his gratitude to several business groups that continuously helped the city recover and boost its local tourism”.
The league said they instead “want to draw attention to Magalong’s actions after the event, which are a clearer reflection of his humility and integrity” as he “admitted his lapses, sanctioned and fined those involved, including his wife, and humbly opened himself to an investigation”.
Considering this, the LCP expressed its “utmost support and unwavering faith in the leadership” of Magalong.
“We are truly proud of his honesty, dedication, and true service to the country,” the league said as they lauded the Baguio mayor’s “solid leadership as the Covid-19 contact tracing czar”.
Magalong, the LCP’s focal mayor for anti-criminality and illegal drugs, had offered to resign as the contract tracing czar, saying he understood that he is expected to be held at a higher standard as a public servant and a member of the National Task Force Against Covid-19.
“We commend his strong commitment to accountability and justice that serves as a beacon of hope to his fellow city mayors and other public servants,” the LCP said.
Earlier, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said in a press statement that Magalong’s resignation had been rejected as the NTF believes in his competence to lead the country’s contact tracing efforts.
He also said President Rodrigo Duterte is all praises for Magalong’s competence to lead the contact tracing efforts nationwide.*PNA