Benhur Salimbangon, 75, loses battle with cancer

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FORMER Cebu 4th District Rep. Benhur Salimbangon succumbed to cancer on Christmas Eve, Dec. 24, 2020. He was 75.

Benhur’s son, former Provincial Board (PB) member and Philippine Councilors’ League president Francis Salimbangon, made the announcement on his official Facebook (FB) page.

“With heavy hearts, we are informing everyone that at the Lord’s hour of 3 p.m., Congressman Benhur L. Salimbangon has concluded his 75 years of existence. After a long battle with cancer, he has passed peacefully with his family by his side. Up until his last breath, Congressman Benhur fought a good fight; but now, God has him back in his Kingdom as His warrior,” the younger Salimbangon said.

Local officials reacted somberly upon hearing of the late congressman’s death.

Rep. Eduardo Gullas, who represents Cebu’s first district, said he lost a good friend and a “true-blue statesman who truly cared for his constituents.”

“Benhur Salimbangon was not only a friend and colleague in the realm of politics, but he was also my brother, but from different mothers,” Gullas said.

On his official FB page, Talisay City Mayor Gerald Anthony Gullas Jr. also extended his condolences to the Salimbangon family.

The younger Gullas said he could never forget the late congressman’s guidance when he was still starting out as a neophyte legislator when he first represented Cebu’s first district in 2013.

“He always had my back. He always looked over me because Papa Eddie (Gullas) had personally asked him to watch out for me. In my six years in Congress, Tito Benhur was always there to help me,” the mayor said in a mix of Cebuano and English.

News of Benhur’s passing also saddened Daanbantayan Mayor and former PB member Sun Shimura.

“My mind and heart still cannot digest that you are no longer with us, Ninong,” Shimura said.

Benhur served as congressman of Cebu’s fourth district from 2007 to 2019.

After the 2018 national elections, Benhur was succeeded by his wife Janice, as the term limit prevented him from running.

Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia later appointed him as Capitol consultant for the development of his own district. (JKV)