Magalong to stay as contact tracing czar if Duterte says so

City Mayor Benjamin Magalong reiterated on Tuesday that his resignation as the country’s tracing czar was irrevocable. However, he said he would stay in his post if President Rodrigo orders him to do so.

Magalong said he would meet with vaccine czar Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. and deputy chief implementer Secretary Vince Dizon this week to discuss the matter.

“I’m due to meet with Secretary Galvez this week together with Secretary Vince and again I would like to reiterate that my resignation is irrevocable. I will continue to help in the contact tracing,” Magalong told ANC.

The mayor added he would be obliged to follow if the President orders him to remain as the contact tracing czar.

“It is a situation that no one can refuse if the President tells you to stay and perform your job. I cannot refuse the President. Pero hindi naman na siguro aabot ‘yan kay Presidente, sa dami ng problema ng Presidente. Siguro at the level ni Secretary Galvez, makapagdesisyon na,” he said.

Currently, Magalong said he is leading in the contact tracing efforts in Bontoc and La Trinidad where UK -19 variant cases were recorded.

Magalong to stay as contact tracing czar if says so

“I continue to perform my job as contact tracing lead, in fact mina-manage pa rin namin ‘yung situation doon sa Bontoc and La Trinidad and I just met with Asec. France Laxamana yesterday of DOH and we are due to meet with her team on Wednesday para nga turuan namin ng aming analytical tools, especially on the aspect of link analysis,” Magalong said.

Magalong said he was responsible for his personal actions, adding that he should have reminded the party attendees to follow health protocols.

“I’m not denying that I [failed] to perform my job… I should have reminded people, I should have cautioned people to wear their masks but you know, hindi ko nagawa ‘yun…” Magalong said.

Asked if the issue is being used against him, the mayor said, “It’s part of the politics. Some people just simply cannot move on and they keep on… even if you do something right, they will always look at the negative side of things.”