By: Benjie Talisic and Morexette Marie B. Erram May 17,2018 - 10:36 PM


Ricardo Joel Ycong only had a few days to celebrate his victory as the new barangay captain of Duljo-Fatima in Cebu City.

Ycong was found dead inside his residence in Barangay Duljo–Fatima, Cebu City at noon on Thursday in an apparent heart attack, leaving his family in shock over his sudden demise. He was 57.

Relatives of Ycong rushed him to a nearby hospital after he was found unconscious on his bed. But attending physicians told them that he had died hours earlier after suffering from a heart attack.

His nephew, Crisanto Manya, was one of those who discovered Ycong’s corpse at around 12:30 p.m. yesterday.

In an interview with reporters, Manya said one of Ycong’s children had been knocking on the bedroom door of his father.

“Sige siya og toktok unya alas dose wala pa man gihapon niabri. Nikuha siya og pang-abri, pagdulot, nahibulong siya nganong iyang papa lagom na (He keeps knocking on the door but it was already 12 noon but nobody answered. He got something to force the door open, and when he did, he was surprised to see his father’s body looking like it was bruised),” said Manya.

Ycong was survived by his live-in partner and their 1-year-old child, and three older children who came from his first wife who died years ago, also due to cardiac arrest.

His live-in partner and his immediate living relatives, including his three grown-up children, refused to divulge their identities to the media and refused to give comments.

Heart attack

According to Manya, Ycong, some of the barangay officials in Duljo-Fatima allied with him, and their supporters, had a boodle fight on Wednesday night, or hours before he suffered a heart attack, to celebrate their recent victory.

He also said Ycong had had three instances of cardiac arrest in the past years.

“Nag-inom man to siya og red wine para lang sa iyang dugo. Nakahurot siya og tunga sa botelya. Unya ni-inom sad siya og lozartan (a medication mainly used to treat high blood pressure) para sa iyang kasing-kasing. Ikatulo na siya gi-atake sa una. Naa na gyud na siyay history sa high blood,” explained Manya. (He drank red wine for his blood circulation. He consumed half of the bottle. And then he also took Lozartan for his heart. He suffered three instances of heart attack before. He already has a history of high blood pressure.

Ycong’s wake would be held at the Sta. Cruz Chapel, Sitio Micabaja, in Barangay Duljo-Fatima. Interment will be announced later.

Political implication

Ycong ran under the Bando Osmeña-Pundok Kauswagan (BO-PK) party.

His death meant from 49, the number of barangay chiefs allied with Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña under BO-PK was now down to 48 while that of Barug Team Rama–PDP-Laban went up from 31 to 32, as the first councilor-elect of Barangay Duljo-Fatima, Elmer Abella, who is expected to assume the post vacated by Ycong, is from Barug.

Abella also happened to be the outgoing barangay captain of Duljo –Fatima.

Although they were yet to receive official reports on Ycong’s death, the Commission on Elections (Comelec)–Cebu City South District  Officer, lawyer Anna Fleur Gujilde, said the councilor who garnered the most number of votes during Monday’s twin polls will assume the post that was left vacant.

Their office is yet to publish the official results of the barangay chairperson race in Duljo–Fatima, which has a voting population of over 17,000.

But the Barangay Board of Canvassers (BBOC) assigned in the village, on Tuesday dawn, declared Ycong as the new village chief, and Abella as the number one councilor (kagawad).

“If ever, in cases like that, what will happen after an elected official suddenly died, succession will follow. The first in line, which is the first councilor (Abella), will be the captain,” said Gujilde.

Personal loss

Osmeña said he was saddened by the untimely death of one of his political allies.

“That’s terrible. It’s very terrible. (Ycong’s death) is very personal to me. He was such a good and bold supporter,” said Osmeña.

The mayor also vowed to provide assistance on behalf of the city government and his friends from the BO-PK, to the family of Ycong. Elected public officials in Cebu City are granted with burial assistance of P10,000, and another P20,000 financial assistance to their family if they or any of their immediate relatives died.

“Of course, whatever they need. All expenses are covered by my friends (from BO-PK),” Osmeña added.

Allies, friends

Elmer Abella, on the other hand, said that Ycong was his long-time political partner before the latter shifted his alliance from Barug to BO-PK in 2016.

He added that Ycong’s death shocked and saddened him.

In a phone interview, Abella added that Ycong started his political career in 2007 as a barangay kagawad in Duljo-Fatima under BO-PK. At that time, Abella, who won as the barangay captain, ran under Team Rama (the previous name of Barug).

“But in 2010, he decided to transfer to Team Rama under my leadership. We both won in 2010. Me as the barangay chairperson and him as the councilor, for our second term. That’s when we started getting close. I considered Ycong as one of my closest political allies in the barangay,” said Abella.

He added that Ycong went to BO-PK after Osmeña offered the latter to lead the Barangay Mayor’s Office (BMO) for Duljo–Fatima in 2016, and accepted it.

“Even if we’re not technically partners anymore, because he returned to BOPK, I am shocked and saddened by his untimely death. It’s not appropriate to talk about politics when someone dies,” he added.

Elmer Abella also declined to comment on his taking over as the barangay captain, once again, of Duljo–Fatima.

“I’ll just wait for any official directives from Comelec or DILG (Department of the Interior and Local Government) on my succession,” Abella said.

In the meantime, he said, the barangay council of Duljo–Fatima would ensure that the family of Ycong would get financial assistance from the barangay .

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TAGS: barangay, captain, dies, Duljo, Fatima, mourning, winning

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