Malacañang on Friday rejected the resignation filed by Baguio City Mayor and contact tracing czar Benjamin Magalong after he and his wife attended the party of Tim Yap where health protocols were violated.
Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque confirmed that Magalong had “tendered his resignation” but that it was not accepted.
“Mayor Magalong’s resignation, however, has not been accepted,” Roque said in a statement. “He continues to enjoy the trust and confidence of the leadership of the National Task Force (NTF) Against COVID-19.”
“Napakasakit sa amin noong ipinasa niya sa akin ang kanyang resignation paper, pero hindi po namin matatanggap, dahil napakalaki ng ginawa ni Mayor Benjie Magalong sa amin,” Vaccine czar Carlito Galvez said in an interview.
(It was painful for us when he submitted his resignation letter to me, but we could not accept it because Mayor Benjie Magalong has done so much for us.)
Galvez said the pandemic party “does not speak of Mayor Magalong’s true character nor define him as a public servant.”
“We would like to express our full support to Mayor Magalong,” said Galvez of Magalong, a former police general who was his upperclassman at the Philippine Military Academy.
Malacañang rejects Magalong’s resignation
“We believe that the incident does not speak of Mayor Magalong’s true character nor define him as a public servant. We would like to express our full support to Mayor Magalong.”
He added Magalong is “considered a trailblazer in the field of COVID-19 prevention and mitigation,” and that his “innovative contact tracing techniques” decreased COVID-19 infections nationwide.
“Mayor Magalong is a true professional and an excellent mentor. He acts as a big brother to everyone, and has never hesitated to share his experiences, knowledge and expertise especially to LGUs who needed his advice on how to effectively contain local transmissions,” said Galvez.
As a former police official, Magalong “demonstrated that he is a man of honor, decency and commitment, and “even President Rodrigo Duterte has vouched for his integrity,” said Galvez.
“As we face the challenges brought about by the health crisis, Mayor Magalong’s role as contact tracing czar is crucial as we scale up our COVID-19 response and mitigation efforts,” he added.