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San Juan City Mayor Francis Zamora Draws Flak for Reportedly Breaking Baguio City’s Health Protocols

The mayor says it was all a miscommunication.
IMAGE Artu Nepomuceno
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San Juan City Mayor Francis Zamora is in hot water after allegedly breaking health protocols when he and his wife traveled to Baguio City recently. 

According to the Baguio City Public Information Office (PIO), which posted a lengthy statement about the incident on Sunday (June 7) from Baguio City Mayor Benjie Magalong, Zamora was onboard a convoy of six vehicles when he arrived at the Kennon Road quarantine checkpoint on Friday (June 5).

“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.

Checkpoint personnel then followed the convoy to the Baguio Country Club, where the group was asked to present a medical health clearance, which Baguio City requires for all of its visitors. But the group was reportedly unable to present the clearance. City officials dispatched medical personnel from the City Health Service Office to conduct triage examination on Mayor Zamora and his party.

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“From this narration of facts, it can be reasonably sensed that Baguio’s health and safety protocols have been violated and the regulatory mechanism of quarantine check and triage examination at the Naguillan facility was not followed,”Mayor Magalong said.

However, Magalong said that Mayor Zamora reached out and personally apologized to him for the incident. 

“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 said.

Mayor Zamora released a statement of his own on Sunday night publicly apologizing for the incident. He explained that his wife is suffering from stage 3 breast cancer and was advised by her doctors to rest. This was the reason for the trip to Baguio City, he said.

“I would like to extend my sincere apologies to Mayor Benjamin Magalong and the people of Baguio City for the incident that happened last June 5, 2020 on our way to Baguio City,” Zamora said. “We had no intention of breaking any checkpoint or quarantine protocols of the LGU. I have personally called Mayor Magalong earlier today to convey my apologies and to explain tha this was a miscommunication in the checkpoint area.”

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But in his statement, Mayor Magalong seemed to hint that this was not the end of the incident. 

“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 or without rank, be allowed to transgress safety measures put in place to keep everyone out of harm,” Magalong said.

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