baguio mayor benjie magalong media interview, photo by jj landingin

Mayor Benjie’s Statement on Recent Tirades Against His Character on SMNI

I express grave disappointment and dismay that a certain Lorraine Badoy, a certain “Ka Eric“, and Pastor Apollo Carreon Quiboloy are destroying my reputation as a public servant by branding me as a “traitor”, “a person of no principles” among other unfounded accusations, during their recent programs on SMNI.

This tirade against me is unfounded and baseless and has subjected my person to needless and undeserved condemnation.

My public life as a police officer is an open book. I take pride in having been schooled in the Philippine Military Academy, where values as a soldier have been honed to better use in my humble being in the course of my service to the country since 1982. I have fought the Communist Terror Group in Luzon and Mindanao from the time I graduated as 2nd lieutenant in 1982. My first assignment was in Abra where I was wounded in combat against communist insurgents. From that year to 2005, I staked my life fighting the CPP/NPA, leading my men not from the rear but up front in numerous operations. All these can readily be validated by the simple act of interviewing the men and women who served with me in the Philippine Constabulary when I was assigned in Abra and Benguet, in Agusan Norte Provincial Command and in the PNP Special Action Force.

I was the Chairman of the Regional Peace and Order Council as well as Vice Chairman of the Cordillera RTF-ELCAC from 2019 to 2022. During my tenure, I have fully supported, without any mental reservation, the programs of the NTF-ELCAC. Through our collective efforts, the ELCAC program continues to succeed in the Cordillera, notably with stronger support from the local communities and better perception from the public.

As the Mayor of Baguio, I serve the city and its constituents to the best of my ability, competence, and with the same unflinching loyalty to the Republic of the Philippines. I am safeguarding our young constituents from being subjected to unnecessary vilification by striving to ensure that our youth activists — not communists — in Baguio are safe from persecution and harassment. Youthful activism does not necessarily mean espousing a communist ideology.

To be accused that I have turned my back on my lifelong commitment against the CPP/NPA is a grave insult that sweeps aside my lengthy and loyal service to the Philippines.

If my actions as head of a local government are under question, let due process be sternly observed. By all means, take the necessary steps that I be sanctioned, in accordance with procedures in place, without having to be publicly scorned over a non-issue.

In relation to the above-mentioned personalities who have acquired the habit of incessantly defaming people without an iota of evidence, be reminded that NO ONE IS ABOVE THE LAW.

Photo courtesy of JJ Landingin