Breach of Quarantine Protocol as it Unfolds Online
San Juan Mayor and Escort Group Violate Baguio City Health Protocols
On Friday, June 5, 2020, a group of visiting officials led by San Juan Mayor Francis Zamora has violated the existing health and safety protocols when entering the City of Baguio.
Two days after, Baguio City Mayor Benjie B. Magalong has released a Public Statement regarding the incident, through the Public Information Office – City of Baguio, which has gained thousands and still growing engagement since it was made public.
Based on the Baguio City Mayor’s statement, Mayor Zamora and the members of his group have ignored the border control protocols being done at Kennon Road and proceeded to their destination, Baguio Country Club.
“These were the facts of the unfortunate incident that has drawn much comment in the social media. As reported to me (at that time I was in Metro Manila on an official business matter) by PNP Baguio city director Allen Rae Co, Mayor Zamora of San Juan, Metro Manila, arrived at the Kennon Road quarantine checkpoint at around 2:30 PM of June 5, 2020, on board a convoy of 6 vehicles, with uniformed personnel inside. When his group was flagged down for inspection, the driver of the lead vehicle just slowed down a bit, and merely told the checkpoint personnel that he was part of a convoy, pointing out the vehicles tailing his police car, then forthwith sped off with the Mayor’s entourage in tow.”
– Baguio City Mayor Benjie B. Magalong’s Public Statement published on PIO-Baguio, June 7, 2020
Even while in Metro Manila at the time when the incident happened, Mayor Magalong took immediate action and instructed his office staff to make sure that the San Juan Mayor and his group go through triage examination for containment purposes.
“There is utmost need to re-assert the policy position of the City Government, that no one, regardless of rank and position, is exempted from the established and long-held health and safety protocols when entering the city,” said the Mayor Magalong.
San Juan Mayor Apologizes About the Incident
Also on Sunday, June June 7, 2020, Mayor Zamora has released his statement in response to Mayor Magalong and to address the incident that has caused a stir online.
The official statement and apology have been published by Mayor Zamora himself on his official Facebook account. See the San Juan City Mayor’s full statement below:
Baguio City Mayor Magalong Appeal to the Public
In addition, Mayor Magalong, through PIO-Baguio, has made an appeal to the public today, June 8, 2020, on the reported breach of Baguio City’s border protocols.
“We appeal to the public to exercise greater discernment and restraint in prejudging, one way or the other, San Juan City Mayor Francis Zamora and the members of his group,” said the Baguio City Mayor.
According to Mayor Magalong, the full appreciation of facts and the proper evaluation of evidence at hand are best left to our courts or the rightful quasi-judicial bodies. “This is how justice works,” he added.
In addition, despite acceptance of the sincere apologies of Mayor Zamora, according to Mayor Magalong, it still does not mean that he and his group are now freed of any legal consequences for their actions.
San Juan Policemen Relieved for Violating Baguio City Health Protocols
As for the latest development to this breach of quarantine protocol incident, NCRPO Chief Maj. Gen. Debold Sinas said that he has relieved the San Juan City policemen who escorted Mayor Francis Zamora in his visit to the City of Baguio.
During a press briefing also done today, Sinas said, “I will not condone any wrongdoing of our police officers in the implementation of the community quarantine protocols if held responsible.”
“We, as law enforcers, are bound to respect the existing rules and regulations anywhere in the Philippines. The safety of the people remains as our top priority in this trying times,” he added.
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