Labella to take leave of absence after revealing health status

Published June 8, 2021, 12:57 PM

by Calvin Cordova 

CEBU CITY – The mayor of this city Edgardo Labella finally ended months of speculations about the state of his health when he revealed Tuesday that he was previously diagnosed with sepsis or blood infection.

In a press briefing at the City Hall, Labella said he will be taking a three-week leave of absence “to pay greater attention to my recovery.”

“During the next three weeks, I will be undergoing a medical workup to make sure there are no more infections sa akong lawas. Through this, I will just be in the City of Cebu,” Labella said.

“It is on the spirit of transparency and accountability that I am making public the state of my health. I have come to realize that it is important for me to focus on my recovery so I can also take care of the people of the City of Cebu,” he added.

The mayor’s leave of absence will take effect June 9.

Early this year, the mayor, who visibly lost weight, was the subject of nasty rumors after he was said to fall into comatose in a hospital.

Labella, however, dispelled the rumors when he showed up in a press conference after a two-day leave of absence.

“I’m okay contrary to what others are saying that I am in comatose. People can be cruel but let’s just forgive them,” Labella said in the January 27 press conference.

In announcing his decision to take a leave of absence, the mayor admitted that he was indeed hospitalized Last January.

“Last January, I was rushed to the hospital for an ear infection. But that was not all. While I was at the hospital, and after thorough tests, I was told that I had sepsis or blood infection. I almost died,” he said.

The mayor said he “was strongly advised back then to take a couple of months” but the second surge of COVID-19 cases in the city forced him to continue reporting for work.

“My health momentarily took a back seat,” he said.

With the decreasing number of COVID-19 cases in the city and successful rollout of the vaccination drive, the mayor said he decided to finally heed the advice of his doctors.

“I will be issuing a memo today (Tuesday) designating Vice Mayor Michael Lopez Rama as the acting mayor of Cebu City for the next three weeks,” the mayor said.

The mayor assured that he will be monitoring the city while on leave while asking for prayers “for my full recovery.

“I am not getting any younger. Mapasalamaton ko sa Ginoo nga (I am thankful to God) that got a new lease on life and I promise you that I will come back better and stronger,” Labella said.