BAGUIO CITY – Mayor Benjamin Magalong on Sunday said San Juan City Mayor Francisco Javier Zamora has apologized to him for breaching protocols when they entered the city on Friday.
“To his credit, Mayor Zamora took the effort to inform me about this incident and apologized for the serious lapse on the part of his police escort,” Magalong said in a statement.
“He profusely expressed deep regrets that while asleep in his car at the time, the PNP escort leading his convoy mindlessly took it on his own to ignore what has long been a standard border protection measure prescribed not only in his but our own city,” Magalong added.
Magalong said Zamora arrived at the Kennon Road quarantine checkpoint at around 2:30 p.m. of June 5 onboard a convoy of six 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,” Magalong said.
Magalong said checkpoint personnel radioed the Baguio City Police Office (BCPO) traffic operations center about the incident and followed Zamora’s convoy en route to the Baguio Country Club.
Upon arrival, the group was asked for the required medical health clearance, but since none was presented, they were told to undergo triage examination.
“Considering that they were already at their destination, medical personnel from the City Health Service Office were dispatched to the Baguio Country Club to set up the triage facility, purposely to ensure that containment and isolation, if needed, were done, ” Magalong said.
The triage was immediately set up to ensure that the procedure will be conducted and to minimize the movement of said persons before they were properly checked.
Magalong said it is clear that “the San Juan City-based police officer who served as lead escort of his mayor’s convoy has committed a serious breach of standing quarantine protocols.”
Magalong said there is an utmost need to reassert the policy position of Baguio, that no one, regardless of rank and position, is exempted from the established and long-held health and safety protocols when entering the city.
“I reiterate this as an uncompromising measure for everyone, whether public or private status, to comply with the city’s border control checkpoints upon entry in Baguio boundaries, to ensure that no one is put to undue health risk while in the city,” he said.
Magalong said according to Zamora, he was asleep when they entered the boundary thus was unaware that they breached the safety protocols.
Magalong said complaints have also been lodged with the PNP deputy chief for operations on the incident that placed Baguio at serious health risk by the simple act of ignoring health and safety protocols.
“I am confident that appropriate steps are forthcoming for this breach of health quarantine protocols, even more so in ensuring that absolutely no one, with our rank, be allowed to transgress safety measures put in place to keep everyone out of harm,” Magalong said.
On Sunday morning, BCPO city director, Col. Allen Rae Co issued a statement citing residents in Baguio have been following the safety guidelines set by the city government which must also be done by anybody, even a VIP entering its boundaries. (PNA)