PARDO, Cebu City Barangay Captain Manolita “Litang” Abarquez died at the age of 63 on Sunday, June 7, 2020.
The official cause of her death was not immediately known.
On ABS-CBN’s Maayong Buntag Kapamilya Facebook (FB) page, Talisay City Planning Officer Ariel Araw-araw, a friend of Abarquez, said she had severe pneumonia.
Abarquez’s death was confirmed by Cebu City Association of Barangay Councils President Franklyn Ong.
“We did not only lose a great public servant, but also a wonderful person and a friend,” said Ong.
Abarquez was an ally of former mayor Tomas Osmeña.
Osmeña, in an interview, said Abarquez was turned down by seven hospitals in Cebu City. She ended up at the Allegiant Regional Care (ARC) Hospitals in Lapu-Lapu City.
Araw-araw said the barangay captain tested negative during a rapid diagnostic test.
She was also swabbed when she was admitted at the ARC Hospitals, but the result has yet to be released, Osmeña said.
Her live-in partner also died at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Araw-araw said.
Abarquez’s daughter Apple clarified that it was never confirmed that her mother was infected with the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).
Apple asked the public to respect their silence as their family needs to mourn.
“My amam Litang was a great human being and I am proud to be called her daughter. I cannot begin to describe the pain, but I would like to focus instead on the happy days,” wrote Apple on her Facebook post.
Abarquez was popularly known as Litang, especially to her regular customers. She owned Litang’s Barbecue and Lechon Manok.
Her partymates in Bando Osmeña Pundok Kauswagan expressed their grief on her passing.
Cebu City South District Rep. Rodrigo Abellanosa said Abarquez died with untiring service being the leader in Poblacion Pardo.
“Cebu City lost a sincere and selfless public servant in the battlefront of the pandemic. A true friend to her people, she died untiring and unceasing in the action as a frontliner, being the father of Barangay Poblacion Pardo,” said Abellanosa.
“We mourn her demise and the loss of a passionate public servant as we pray for her eternal rest,” he added.
Inayawan Barangay Captain Kirk Bryan Repollo said he was surprised and saddened when he learned the news.
Abarquez also had friends in the opposing the party.
Mayor Edgardo Labella sent his condolences to her Abarquez.
Councilor Eduardo Rama Jr. posted on FB that Abarquez was one of the few officials he got close to when he entered politics.
“My deepest condolences to the family of Barangay Captain Litang Abarquez of Barangay Poblacion Pardo. Usa sa mga una na nasuod nako sa pagsulod nako sa politika. Rest in peace, Kap Litang,” Rama said. (JJL)