Friday August 17, 2018

Newly elected Cebu village chief dies from heart attack

OUTGOING Duljo Fatima barangay captain Elmer Abella was ready to step down from the position he held for the past 11 years to pursue a post as councilman.

During the barangay elections last Monday, the people of Duljo elected a new barangay captain, 57-year-old Ricardo Joel Ycong.

Abella, too, succeeded in his political bid and clinched the first spot among the eight councilors in the barangay.

But three days later, instead of festive music, the mourns of supporters played on the background of Ycong’s wake.

Ycong died of heart attack in his room yesterday dawn.

Crisanto Maneja, a barangay enviromental officer (BEO), said that Ycong was supposed to meet with them to discuss plans for the barangays.

“We were having a budol-budol fight and he drank red wine for his heart the night before the incident. But you can really see the toll of the campaign on his face because of the stress,” Maneja said.

Rosemarie Oca, Ycong’s live-in partner for two years, said that Ycong had three heart attacks prior to the final and fatal one yesterday.

“I kept on calling him but he didn’t pick up. I got nervous. I was devastated when I heard what happened,” she said.

Family members knocked on Ycong’s room at around 8 a.m. but no one answered.

Thinking that he was still sleeping, they didn’t disturb him until past noon.

Ycong’s eldest son forced the door open and saw him lifeless.

Cebu City south district election officer Anna Fleur Gujilde said that succession in the barangay will follow after Ycong’s death.

“The first councilor (Abella) will assume office as barangay captain. The vacant position for barangay councilor will be filled through appointment. The barangay captain will submit a recommendation and the appointment will be made by the mayor,” she said.

Ycong was the political bet of Bando Osmeña Pundok Kauswagan (BOPK), which is headed by Mayor Tomas Osmeña.

He will be replaced by Abella, who ran under the opposition.

“Ang ako lang ba luoy kaayo. Wala ko magdahum nga ingun ana ang mahitabo. Bisag kontra partido sa politika, lahi baya ang ingun ana nga kinabuhi, maluoy sad ta ba,” he said.

Although he has yet to receive orders from the Commission on Elections, Abella said he will just continue the projects and programs that were implemented during his administration.

He also plans to make education for nursery students free.

Abella said that he and Ycong were partymates under the opposition before the latter defected from the group to join BOPK in 2016.

Osmeña described Ycong as a “great” man.

“It’s terrible. It’s personal to me. He was such a good and bold supporter. Of course, we did that already (extend assistance). Whatever they need (we will help). All expenses covered by my friends,” he said.

The Cebu City Police Office (CCPO) will conduct autopsy on Ycong’s body.

“It’s upon the request of the family. In our initial investigation, there was no foul play,” said SPO1 Winston Ybañez of the CCPO Homicide Section. (RTF, JOB, SunStar Philippines)