After cancer, sepsis, Mayor Labella in hospital again but won’t resign

·3 min read

THE family of Cebu City Mayor Edgardo Labella confirmed Tuesday, November 2, 2021, that the local chief executive is currently admitted in a private hospital due to another episode of pneumonia but that despite his multiple hospital admissions this year, he would not resign his post.

Labella’s wife, Joycelyn, and sons Edgardo “Jaypee” Labella II and Eugene Philippe Labella told the press that the mayor was admitted to hospital over the weekend on indications that he was suffering from minor sepsis and spent a day in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU). He has since been transferred to a regular private room in the hospital.

Eugene, the mayor’s younger son, said his father was diagnosed with prostate cancer 12 years ago and was operated on and treated.

His cancer is now under control, he added.

“In January 2021, he was initially admitted for an ear infection that had exacerbated, and eventually, we found out that he had sepsis or blood infection. He almost died at that point. Thankfully, true to the survivor that he is, he was able to recover,” Eugene said of his father, who survived the 1998 sinking of a passenger ship, floating in the sea in a life vest for 36 hours before he was rescued.

The mayor has been in and out of the hospital since the second quarter of 2021 due to pneumonia.

In July, the mayor was hospitalized for weeks for pneumonia and also spent time in the ICU. He also suffered a mild stroke in August.

“While the mayor continues to recover, he has handed over the reins of City Hall to Acting Mayor Michael Rama, whom he knows and trusts to be able to properly manage the affairs of Cebu City,” Eugene said.

Jaypee, the mayor’s elder son, said his father had stated his wish not to resign, since there are still things he wants to do once he recovers from his illness.

Jaypee said if it were up to them to decide, they would want their father to resign but that as their family did with Labella’s decision in 2019 to run for mayor, they would support their father’s decision.

Rama, who has served as acting mayor several times this year when Labella went on leave of absence, called on the Cebuanos to pray for the mayor’s speedy recovery.

“I ask my fellow Cebuanos that we continue with our prayers for his recovery,” Rama said.

City Councilor David Tumulak, who will challenge Rama for the mayor’s seat in the May 2022 elections, said as much.

“I ask the Cebuanos to include the complete recovery of our mayor in their prayers,” Tumulak revealed.

The Labella family supported Labella when he ran for mayor in 2019 when he was still healthy and active until the pandemic brought by the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) arrived in the first year of his three-year term as mayor.

“Being a neophyte mayor and with the emergence of the Covid pandemic last year, his health suffered. He worked nonstop to oversee and make sure the City is able to efficiently carry out its Covid response and recovery efforts to the point that his own health took a back seat,” the official statement of the Labella family said. (CTL)

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