Netizens want Francis Zamora declared persona non grata in Baguio City for breaking health protocols

Photo from Daily Tribune and Abante

San Juan Mayor Francis Zamora drew criticism on social media for allegedly breaking health security protocols when his entourage sped off a checkpoint into Baguio City.

In a statement released by Baguio mayor Benjamin Magalong on Sunday, Zamora’s six-vehicle convoy, including uniformed personnel, arrived in Baguio around 2:30 p.m. on Friday, June 5, 2020.

"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

According to a GMA News Online report, Magalong said he was in Metro Manila at that time and received the report thru the Philippine National Police Baguio City Director Allen Rae Co.

Magalong also said that Zamora and his team were not able to present their medical health clearance when asked to do so.

"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 Naguilian facility was not followed," the mayor said

On the other hand, Magalong also noted that, Zamora, who said he was asleep when the incident took place, issued an apology.

"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 escorting officer," Magalong said

"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," he added.

However, Magalong noted that the police officer who served as lead escort committed a breach of protocols, thus, complaints have been filed.

"It is clear that the San Juan City-based police officer who served as lead escort of his City Mayor’s convoy has committed a serious breach of standing quarantine protocols," said Magalong.

"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," he added.

With this, the fury the citizens of Baguio pushed them to start a petition, declaring Zamora a persona non grata in Baguio City.

"By ignoring protocols and initiatives of the City of Baguio, one of the cities in the country that serves as a model in the fight against the spread of Covid-19 thanks to the discipline and genuine concern of its citizens and the city's current leadership, San Juan City Mayor Zamora, arrogantly and selfishly, spat in the face of every Baguio citizen who's sacrificed so much to keep the city safer," the petition read.


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