Mayor apologizes to Jillian Robredo over heckling

>> Friday, May 6, 2022

BAGUIO CITY -- Mayor Benjamin Magalong has publicly apologized to the youngest daughter of Vice President Leni Robredo after she was heckled this week at the city’s public market while campaigning.
    In a Facebook post, Magalong said he and the city’s officials “deeply” regretted what he had described as an “unfortunate heckling incident.”
    “We are sorry that incidents like this took place,” he said Wednesday. “To the Vice President’s daughter and to other visiting candidates and their supporters, do accept our heartfelt regrets over this incident.”
    Magalong also expressed hopes that Jillian and campaign volunteers who accompanied her in Baguio would regard the incident as a “purely isolated one that took place in a momentary outburst of political misdemeanor.”
    “Rudeness has never been a standard conduct of Baguio folks. We can assure Ms. Robredo that such a physical outburst by a man is not representative of Baguio’s legendary hospitable conduct, especially to visitors and guests,” the mayor said.
    “Baguio is a peaceful place whose historical experience in election campaigns has been a source of genuine friendship not just among us local candidates but much more so when visiting candidates come here for good-intentioned engagements,” he added.
    Claiming that Baguio folks were usually friendly, Magalong said the residents of the city treat people with “nothing but the very best experience our visitors can have while in our midst.”
    The Vice President, in a tweet, said there was no need for Magalong to apologize.
    “Thank you very much, Mayor Benjie, but there is no need to apologize. This unfortunate incident does not diminish our love and respect for the people of Baguio,” she said.
    Magalong was referring to the incident this week, supposedly on Tuesday, in which a still unidentified man shouted at Jillian and other campaign volunteers.
    “Stop it. Stop! Why are you closing the public market?” the man said as shown in a now-viral video shared by some campaign volunteers. “You are foreigners here. We are Igorot!”
    The campaign volunteers apologized for the inconvenience and left the market shortly after, said the Robredo People’s Council, a volunteer group supporting Robredo’s candidacy.
    Magalong met with Jillian and some of Robredo’s campaign volunteers on Wednesday at the Baguio City Hall as shown in photos shared by the Leni People’s Council.
    For the past three days, Jillian has been campaigning in Ilocos Sur, La Union, Baguio, and Benguet for her mother, even if the said provinces were part of the so-called “Solid North,” considered the bailiwick of the Marcos family.


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