DAVAO del Sur governor Douglas "Dodo" Cagas passed away on Thursday morning, June 10, 2021, due to complications of Covid-19, his family confirmed.
"It is with you our deepest sorrow that we announce the passing of Governor Douglas "Dodo" Cagas this morning, owing to [Covid-19] complications. He has joined his Creator in heaven," the Cagas family said in a statement.
Lawyer Riafe Cagas Fernandez, spokesperson of the Cagas family, confirmed in an interview on 87.5 FM Davao City Disaster Radio that Cagas succumbed at 5:30 a.m.
She said the late governor was admitted for a week at the hospital after suffering from shortness of breathing.
"Murag naulian naman unta to siya, naka-communicate na 'to siya sa iyang mga igsoon, sa iyahang pamilya, nakapasalamat na siya sa iyang mga doctor (He already recovered and was able to communicate with his family, and thanked his doctors)," Fernandez said.
"Unfortunately, kagabii, nag-bleeding siya, ug mipanaw na siya sa Covid-19 ganihang buntag lang (he was bleeding last night, and eventually, succumbed to Covid-19 this morning)," Fernandez added.
Cagas, a senior citizen, already received his first dose of Covid-19 vaccine before he was admitted to the hospital.
Fernandez, however, clarified that it was not the vaccine that caused the untimely demise of the governor.
She added that the governor is a staunch advocate of getting the Covid-19 vaccine.
The late governor was survived by his wife House Representative Mercedes "Didi" Cagas and son Vice Governor Marc Douglas Cagas.
Fernandez said both of them are currently under quarantine wherein they also tested positive but under mild condition. Both are now recovering.
The spokesperson said Marc will be succeeding his father as governor after the latter recover and finish their quarantine.
Cagas, 77, began his political career as an assemblyman in the 1980s, then as congressman from 1998 to 2007. He then served as governor of the province from 2007 to 2013, 2016 to 2019, and 2019 up to present.
Fellow local chief executive Davao Oriental Governor Nelson Dayanghirang said in a statement that his family and the entire province extended their condolences to Cagas’ family.
“Usa ka dakong kawad-on ang pagkawala ni Gov. Cagas nga nahimo ug usa sa mga pundasyon sa atong rehiyon (The passing of Gov. Cagas is a huge loss, who served as one of the foundation in our region),” Dayanghirang said.
“He will always be remembered as a great leader and a good friend. Daghang salamat Gov. Dodo. Maayong paglawig (Rest in peace),” he added. Dayanghirang recently recovered from Covid-19.
Davao de Oro Governor Jayvee Tyron Uy also sent his condolences to the Cagas family in a separate radio interview.
Uy also told the public that "Covid[-19] is real" and urged for the continued compliance of the minimum health protocols.