MANILA - Baguio City Mayor Benjamin Magalong's irrevocable resignation as contact tracing czar following his attendance at a party where COVID-19 protocols were violated is "admirable", Vice President Leni Robredo said on Sunday.
Magalong's response sets a good example for public officials, Robredo said.
"Napakahusay nung pag-ako ng accountability. Para sa'kin, karapat-dapat tularan, na 'pag merong pagkakamaling nagawa o mga hindi nagawa, 'yung ganito, para sa'kin, pagrespeto sa opisina," she said in her weekly radio show.
(It's a great display of owning up to accountability. For me, his example should be followed. Whether officials did something wrong or failed to do something, for me, this shows respect to public office.)
"Sa'kin, obviously, merong lapse. Pero bilib naman ako kay Mayor Magalong na malakas yung sense of accountability. Kung meron mang nagawang lapse, dapat ganito yung response ng mga public officials na nalalagay sa ganitong sitwasyon."
(Obviously, there was a lapse. But I admire Mayor Magalong for his strong sense of accountability. If there was a lapse, this should be the response of public officials in similar situations.)
Robredo lamented though Magalong's resignation as contact tracing czar, citing his assistance in boosting authorities' tracking of close contacts when the more contagious COVID-19 variant was detected in Bontoc, Mt. Province.
Palace spokesman Harry Roque said Magalong's resignation has been rejected, but the mayor insisted it was "irrevocable."
"'Pag ganito ang ating public officials, yung respeto ng mga tao sa institusyon, mabu-boost - na 'yung 'pag may kasalanan, inaako yung kasalanan, walang pagdepensa sa sarili. Ang sinasabi lang, inaaako, mananagot," Robredo said.
(If our public officials are like this, it will boost people's respect in institutions - when they admit their mistakes and do not defend themselves, when they just hold themselves accountable.)
"Napaka-admirable sa isang public official. Wala naman talagang perpekto. Somewhere along the way, nagkakaroon ng lapses."
(It's very admirable in a public official. No one's perfect, somewhere along the way we commit lapses."
Magalong earlier said he attended events host Tim Yap's party in Baguio and admitted possible violations of health protocols such as non-wearing of face masks.
Other public officials who also earned public ire for violating health protocols are Roque, Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo, and Senators Kiko Pimentel and Manny Pacquiao.
The Philippines as of Saturday logged 523,516 confirmed COVID-19 cases, with 36,943 active infections.