Malacañang said Friday it rejected the resignation of Baguio City Mayor Benjamin Magalong as the Philippines' contact tracing czar after the official drew criticism over his attendance at a party that became viral for violations of COVID-19 protocols.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque confirmed Magalong's submission of a resignation letter which was not accepted.
"Mayor Magalong's resignation, however, has not been accepted. He continues to enjoy the trust and confidence of the leadership of the National Task Force against COVID-19," Roque said in a statement.
In a letter dated Jan. 28, Magalong tendered his resignation to Immunization czar Sec. Carlito Galvez Jr, citing his involvement in a party where there were "several lapses in protocol committed."
Magalong admitted Wednesday that he was among guests of partyphile Tim Yap's birthday celebration that went viral on social media as guests were photographed without their masks.
Magalong, who said he attended the party with his wife, admitted that there were instances that minimum health standards were violated during the event held at The Manor in Camp John Hay.
"In hindsight, being a senior official of the Task Force, I should have done an immediate spot correction of the errors that I witnessed during that time," Magalong said in his resignation letter.
"Much as I have been given my best to discharge my duties for the Task Force, this incident has been a reminder that a higher standard is always expected of me," he added.
Yap has apologized for photos that went viral showing his party guests maskless.