MANILA -- Cebu Mayor Edgardo Labella has died early Friday. acting mayor Michael Rama confirmed on TeleRadyo. He was 70.
"He died this morning, somewhere between 3:20 a.m. or before 4 o clock po," he said.
Rama said he will be taking over the post of mayor with Labella's death.
Labella's family earlier said the mayor was hospitalized due to pneumonia.
The family said Labella was briefly brought to the intensive care unit of a private hospital due to minor sepsis, but was already transferred to a private room.
Prior to his recurring pneumonia, Labella suffered from prostate cancer in 2009, but was cleared after an operation.
His series of absences this year started on Jan. 21, when he had an ear infection that led to sepsis.
"He almost died at that point," his son, Eugene, said.
In June, Labella took a three-week health leave amid the ongoing vaccination program and COVID-19 response in the city.
In the press conference where he announced that leave, he acknowledged that he almost died due to sepsis, but said he did not take his doctor's advice to rest at that time due to the second surge of COVID-19 cases in the city.
"Now that the cases are manageable, I will heed the advice of the doctors,” he said.