Socialite Tim Yap has found a staunch defender in contact tracing czar and Baguio Mayor Benjamin Magalong amid the backlash he’s receiving for the birthday party he recently held at the Philippines’ summer capital.
Magalong absolved Yap of any liability Wednesday (January 27) for violating health and safety protocols when he invited several guests to The Manor at Camp John Hay for his birthday celebration.
In an interview over dzMM radio, the mayor said the presence of Yap and his friends in Baguio helped boost the sales of local artists’ paintings. Magalong also admitted he was at the event.
“I was there. Inimbita ho ako because ang nangyari po nun, si Mr. Tim Yap and his group, nagpunta doon sa aming art exhibit at ang dami nilang nabiling art, paintings. Ang local artists namin, talagang naghihikahos. Mabuti na hong dumating sila, andami nilang nabili,” the mayor said.
“Pumunta po kami ng wife ko to thank them, and at the same time nakita ko ang posts nila promoting tourism sa Baguio and saying good words sa process namin sa Baguio,” he added.
That party, look who was there. The Baguio Mayor and his wife.
— Miss Maggie (@MiaMagdalena) January 26, 2021
Magalong explained the disregard of health protocols by Yap and his friends by saying not everyone is perfect—and admitted his wife also violated rules by not wearing her mask at the party.
“I understand what happened –– everybody was just so engaged kaya kung minsan nakakalimutan natin. But sabi ko sa kanya, ‘don’t you worry about it, yung tulong mo sa siyudad ng Baguio… tinulong mo sa aming artists, we’re considering all of these,'” he said.
“Even my wife violated it kasi natanggal nga yung mask… Syempre magvi-violate ka, kahit papano, kayo rin siguro you are not all perfect,” Magalong added.
The Department of Tourism and the city government of Baguio has asked The Manor to explain why the event was allowed to take place amid strict community quarantine in the province. Yap, meanwhile, has been hopping from one media entity to another to explain he meant no harm when he held his party.