San Juan City Mayor Francis Zamora on Sunday issued an apology to Mayor Benjamin Magalong and the people of Baguio City over what he said was a "miscommunication" at a checkpoint.
In a statement posted online, Zamora explained that he and his entourage went to Baguio to bring his wife—a stage 3 breast cancer patient —to the city for rest and medical treatment.
"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. We had no intention of breaking any checkpoint or quarantine protocols of the LGU," said Zamora.
"I have personally called Mayor Magalong earlier today to convey my apologies and to explain that this was a miscommunication in the checkpoint area," he added.
In an earlier statement, Magalong said reports of the local police found that Zamora —along with his six-car convoy—disregarded a local checkpoint and instead sped off to the Baguio Country Club (BCC).
In his earlier apology to Magalong, Zamora said he had been asleep during the incident.
Magalong said that a triage examination—a requirement before entering Baguio City —was also set up for the convoy at the BCC since they were already there.
Zamora said he brought his wife to Baguio to stay in a family home for a "few weeks" to rest and recover.
He added that while he was scheduled to go back to San Juan City on Sunday, his wife would stay in Baguio for her rest and active treatment. Her sisterwas set to arrive in the afternoon.
"Again, I humbly and most respectfully apologize to Mayor Benjamin Magalong and the people of Baguio City for this incident. There was never any intention not to follow Baguio's health and security protocols," he said.
Citizens of Baguio City earlier launched a petition on Change.org to declare Zamora as a persona non grata following the incident.
"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.
The petition was started by Karlo Marko Altomonte before the Office of the Vice Mayor and Presiding Officer City Council of Baguio. — Jon Viktor D. Cabuenas/BM, GMA News