Magalong takes responsibility for possible criticisms on Baguio's month-long Christmas celebration opening

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, December 1) — Baguio Mayor Benjamin Magalong said he is taking full responsibility should there be criticisms on the lack of social distancing among those who attended the opening of the city's month-long Christmas celebration.

"Most probably tomorrow, some people will be hitting us because one way or the other, some of us failed to observe social distancing during this event," said Magalong in a speech during the event on Tuesday held on top of Session Road.

The celebration featured performances onstage, along with reminders to the audience every now and then to keep observing physical distancing and wearing face masks and face shields.

"Kung meron pong may kasalanan, ako po ang inyong ituro. Kasalanan po ng inyong mayor, kaya wag po kayong mabahala," stressed Magalong.

[Translation: If anyone's at fault, it's me. This is the fault of your mayor, so please do not worry.]

To date, Baguio has 3,029 cases, 181 of which are active. Ten barangays are also on lockdown.

The city was among the high-risk areas for COVID-19 tagged by OCTA Research in its report last week. However, the group eventually noted the significant drop in Baguio's weekly cases in its report on Monday.

Over the weekend, crowds flocked to a tourism event in Cebu with no physical distancing in sight. Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque was also present, reminding the attendees to observe minimum health standards, but also indicating that the one-meter distancing rule may be foregone if people are wearing face masks in an open-air venue.

The Interior Department said a fact-finding probe will be conducted on the event, with Cebu Governor Gwendolyn Garcia expressing her willingness to be questioned.

Roque said during his Tuesday briefing he will also cooperate with investigators.