Cebu News

Labella in ICU; Son, Rama ask for prayers

Mary Ruth R. Malinao - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines —  Cebu City Mayor Edgardo Labella is admitted to the hospital anew while on indefinite leave of absence from City Hall.

In a Facebook post on November 1, All Saints’ Day, his son, Jaypee Labella, asked for prayers for his father.

“Papa is in the Hospital and my family pleads your compassion and prayers at this difficult time,” he said.

Vice Mayor Michael Rama who is serving as acting mayor said the mayor is in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU).

“I was communicated with the city administrator and I find it morally obliged, especially at this time, to bring it to the public... that the mayor is now in the hospital… and is now placed in the ICU,” Rama told The Freeman.

Like the mayor’s son, he asked for prayers for Labella.

He said yesterday that he would leave to the mayor’s family to discuss his situation further.

The Labella family is set to speak with the media today, November 2, to discuss the mayor’s health condition.

In earlier reports, City Administrator Floro Casas, Jr. confirmed that Labella was brought back to the hospital on Saturday, October 30, due of pneumonia.

It was also Casas who disclosed that Labella had opted to go on an indefinite leave, his seventh leave this year, starting on October 8 per his doctor’s advice.      

Previous reports had it that Jaypee had confirmed the mayor had suffered a mild stroke while in the hospital in August this year.

Jaypee, in a text message to broadcast journalist Bobby Nalzaro, said his father’s speech and lower extremities were affected.

Leave of absence

In January in 2021, Labella went on a three-day medical leave due to ear infection and subsequently proceeded to a work from home arrangement for over a month. He returned to City Hall in March.

On May 31, Labella took another three-day medical leave after he was admitted to the hospital for a weekend for “slight pneumonia.”

Last June 9, he filed a three-week medical leave to focus on his recovery as he revealed that apart from an ear infection, he also had sepsis or blood infection.

Labella went on his fourth medical leave for the year from July 14 to 16, 2021 due to a “persistent cough.”

He returned to work on August 19 after more than a month, but observed a work from home arrangement.

The mayor then went on a personal leave from September 2 to 7.

Following this, he returned to work for 11 days, still overseeing the city from home, before taking his sixth leave for the year. This time, no reason was provided in the memorandum he issued, Memorandum No. 2021-422.

Acting Mayor

After serving as acting mayor for 30 days, Rama will soon be able to sign papers that he would not otherwise have as vice mayor. He would also be able to appoint people to vacant positions at City Hall or replace existing personnel.

Rama said all he wants at this point is for services of the city government to remain uninterrupted given the conditions.

“Mindful man ko nga this is the term of Mayor Edgardo Colina Labella. Number 2, my position is always not engaging in rocking the boat, but only to bring everybody to focus in making service alive. That has always been my marching order as an acting mayor,” he said. — Caecent Noot-Magsumbol JMO (FREEMAN)

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