Palace rebuffs claims Los Baños mayor’s killing related to narcolist

MALACAÑANG Palace on Monday assured that justice will be served in the murder of Los Baños Mayor Cesar P. Perez despite his alleged links to the drug trade as tagged by President Rodrigo R. Duterte. “That is the responsibility of the state and… the President will make sure of that because the President is the executioner of laws, the implementer of laws,” Palace Spokesperson Harry L. Roque said in Filipino during a briefing. Mr. Roque also denied the mayor’s killing was connected to the President’s narcolist, adding that authorities are already conducting a thorough investigation to determine the motive. Mr. Perez, who was shot on Saturday within the Los Baños municipal hall complex, had denied involvement in drug-related activities. — Gillian M. Cortez

Baguio ironing out better system for night market; Drone light show set for Dec. 25, 31


THE Baguio night market will be reopening soon with improved crowd control measures and more spacious layout for stalls, the city government said on Monday. The market was opened Dec. 1 and Mayor Benjamin B. Magalong ordered it stopped the next day following reports of violations of health protocols, especially distancing. “We did not consider other factors like the spillover of the crowd who attended the Christmas program and proceeded to the night market and the excitement of the locals to go out of their homes from months of being told to stay home,” Market Superintendent Fernando Ragma, Jr. said in a statement. The mayor formed a team composed of local officials, including Mr. Ragma, and the police to evaluate the market setup and introduce improvements. “We must strike a balance between reopening the economy and safeguarding the health and safety of the people. This is our new normal direction,” the mayor said. Mr. Ragma said they will announce the reopening date as soon as all the planned changes have been finalized. Meanwhile, residents and visitors will be treated to a drone light show on Christmas day and New Year’s eve instead of the traditional fireworks display. Supervising City Tourism Operations Officer Aloysius C. Mapalo, in a separate statement on Monday, said there will be some 5,000 drones emitting different colors, shapes and formations for the show. He said the show can be live-streamed through social media platforms. “(T)he drone light show is a donation from a close friend of Mayor Benjamin B. Magalong who does not want to be identified with this newest attraction,” Mr. Mapalo said. — MSJ