‘Cebu City has lost a great public servant’
Cebu gov’t officials mourn Mayor Labella’s passing
Cebu City, Philippines—Local government officials here posted messages of sympathy on Facebook in honor of Cebu City Mayor Edgardo Labella, who passed away early morning Friday, November 19, 2021.
Among them was Labella’s vice mayor, Michael “Mike” Rama, who was acting mayor since Labella went on indefinite leave last October.
“Today, I have lost a good friend and partner, and the City of Cebu has lost a great public servant,” Rama said in a Facebook post.
Rama is also currently on leave, leaving Councilor Donaldo “Dondon” Hontiveros as the acting mayor until November 30.
“Our partnership was formed in 2012, when he became my vice mayor and our friendship is one that has lasted since the 90s. We have had many great years together in public service. I could not have asked for a better partner,” Rama said.
Jaypee Labella, son of the late mayor, said in a press conference on Friday morning that his father passed away due to septic shock secondary to pneumonia.
Last month, Labella took an indefinite leave as he had been in and out of the hospital due to pneumonia.
He was elected Cebu City mayor in 2019, beating then incumbent Cebu City chief executive and political rival Tomas Osmena.
Meanwhile, Mayor Jonas Cortes of the neighboring City of Mandaue also extended his condolences in a Facebook post.
“Your death is a great loss to the city but we know that your legacy will live on,” Cortes said.
Lapu-Lapu City Mayor Junard “Ahong” Chan also posted a message on Labella’s passing early Friday.
“Siguro ako nga nagbangutan ang mga Sugboanon karon lakip na ang iyang mga pamilya ug kahigalaan pero siguro ako nga nagmalipayon sa siya karon sa kiliran sa atong Labawng Makagagahom,” part of his post read.
(I am sure that the Cebuanos are grieving now including his family and friends but I am sure that he is happy now at the side of the more powerful God.)
Talisay City Mayor Samsam Gullas highlighted Labella’s performance during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The Covid-19 pandemic truly tested his mettle, to the point that his own health was tested as well. But even with his death, I take solace on that fact that you are with our Creator now and that you have finally earned your well-deserved rest,” said Gullas in a Facebook post.
Other officials who posted messages as of 9 a.m. included Councilors Joel Garganera, and Dave Tumulak, and Sugbo Bike Lane Board’s Gerry Carillo. /rcg, dbs, bmjo
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