Francisco Javier “Francis” Zamora, 42, may be declared as persona non grata in Baguio City, Philippines. The former basketball player and incumbent mayor of San Juan City, Metro Manila, Philippines was accused of breaching Baguio City’s health protocols set as a response to the ongoing new coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Zamora has apologized to incumbent Baguio City mayor Benjie Magalong. But angry residents of Baguio City are expressing on social media how they do not want the San Juan City mayor there after the incident so it may not be a good idea for him to visit the city in the next few years.
“Pasensya na (My bad),” Zamora told Magalong. “Kasalukuyang undergoing medical treatment ang asawa ko (My wife is currently undergoing medical treatment).”
Born in San Juan City on December 5, 1977, Zamora married Keri Lynn Neri in 2001. They have four children together.
“She’s my luck charm,” Zamora said of Neri in an interview with The Philippine Star in 2002. He was a junior at the De La Salle University in Manila while she was a freshman at the Assumption College in Makati City, Metro Manila when they first met on November 30, 1997.
At around 2:30 p.m. on June 5, 2020, Zamora and Neri arrived at the Kennon Road quarantine checkpoint on board a convoy of six vehicles with uniformed personnel inside, Philippine National Police (PNP) Baguio City director Allen Rae Co reported to Magalong. At the time, the Baguio City mayor was in Metro Manila on an official business matter.
Upon arriving at the Baguio Country Club, Zamora, his wife and their group were reportedly not able to present the required medical health clearance so they were asked to undergo triage examination. Medical personnel from the Baguio City Health Service Office were dispatched to the area to set up the triage facility, Magalong was told.
If these claims are true, it means that Zamora, his wife and his group violated the health and safety protocols of Baguio City. The San Juan City mayor did not deny the allegations and apologized to Magalong.
Zamora tried to explain that he was asleep in his car when the incident happened and put the blame on his police escorting officer, according to the Baguio City mayor. The San Juan City mayor also claimed that his wife is a Stage 3 cancer patient and they went to Baguio City for her to have her very needed rest as recommended by the doctor.
But back on November 6, 2019, Zamora took to Facebook to tell his supporters that his wife was cancer-free after nine months of undergoing treatment and medical procedures. He did not indicate in his recent apology statement that it recurred but made it appear that it has been there all along, making the residents of Baguio City even angrier.
In 1999, Zamora earned his bachelor’s degree in psychology from De La Salle University. When he was the team captain of the university’s basketball team, the De La Salle Green Archers, in 1998 and in 1999, the team won the championship of the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) Men’s Basketball.
Zamora served as the vice mayor of San Juan City from June 30, 2010 to June 30, 2016. He was elected as the mayor of the city on June 30, 2019.
In May 2020, Jose Pimentel Ejercito Jr., who is professionally known as Jinggoy Estrada, was accused of violating social distancing rules while distributing relief goods in San Juan City and was invited to the police station. The former Philippine senator believed Zamora was behind it, which the latter denied.
Estrada’s daughter Janella Ejercito is a former vice mayor of San Juan City. She ran for mayor in the city in 2019 but lost to Zamora.