Palace says favoring no one in COVID-19 protocol watch

Jamaine Punzalan, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 28 2021 02:35 PM | Updated as of Jan 28 2021 02:45 PM

MANILA — Malacañang said on Thursday the government was favoring no one in its implementation of protocols to halt the spread of COVID-19, in connection with a party that celebrities and an official recently attended. 

Baguio City Mayor and contact-tracing czar Benjamin Magalong this week said there were lapses in a birthday party for media personality Tim Yap, that the official and his wife attended. Some of the guests were photographed without anti-virus masks and failing to observe physical distancing.

News of the party came around the same time that authorities in Parañaque City were caught on camera violently accosting a man during a clearing operation. 

"Pagdating sa pagpapatupad ng protocols, wala po tayong kinikilala—mayaman, mahirap, lalaki, babae, kung ano mang kasarinlan (sic)," said Palace spokesman Harry Roque. 

(When it comes to implementing protocols, we are not favoring anyone—rich, poor, man, woman, whatever their gender.) 

Magalong has promised to fine even his own wife, said Roque, who last year came under fire for attending a crowded Cebu event.

"Hayaan na po natin na umusad ang proseso. Buo po ang tiwala ni Presidente kay Mayor Magalong, buo po ang kaniyang respeto kay Mayor Magalong," the President's spokesman told reporters in an online briefing. 

(Let us let the process move. The President has full trust on and he has full respect for Mayor Magalong.)

"The personal liability depends kung mayroon siyang personal na ginawa. Mere attendance is not actionable," he added. "Siya ba'y nag-observe ng social distancing, siya ba ay naka-mask? So kung ganoon naman, wala siyang liability," he added.

(The personal liability depends if he personally did something... Did he observe physical distancing, was he wearing a mask? if that is the case then he has no liability.)

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