Dumaguete City Vice Mayor Alan Gel Cordova. (Dumaguete.com) 

Dumaguete City Vice Mayor Alan Gel Cordova succumbed following cardiac arrest on Sunday, May 30. He was 53.

Cordova collapsed near St. Paul University Dumaguete in Barangay Bantayan and was rushed to nearby Negros Oriental Provincial Hospital.

In a video circulating online, Cordova appeared to have arrived unconscious at the hospital, where doctors tried to revive him but failed.

Councilor Joe Kenneth Arbas, a political ally and friend of Cordova, said the vice mayor had recovered from Covid-19 over a week ago.

Early this week, the Sanguniang Panlungsod social media page posted Cordova’s RT-PCR test results indicating that he had tested negative for Covid-19 twice, on May 18 and 24. Since then, Cordova had been resting, Arbas added.

Cordova was participating along with fellow local officials and friends in a “bike for a cause” organized by the Philippine Army’s 302nd Infantry Brigade (IB), involving a 17-mile trek from Tanjay to the provincial capital of Dumaguete.

Capt. Mark Cardinoza, spokesperson of the 302nd IB, told PressOne.PH all participants signed a waiver before joining the event.

Negros Oriental Vice Governor Mark Macias, who was with Cordova at the starting line, extended his condolences to the bereaved family of the vice mayor, whom he described as having “exerted his high morals to the highest.”

“We mourn your passing but rejoice in the life you modeled for all of us,” Macias posted on his Facebook page shortly after Cordova’s death.

Cordova, a second-time vice mayor, reportedly planned to run against incumbent mayor Felipe Antonio Remollo, who was also isolated after testing positive for Covid-19 early this month.

Gov. Roel Degamo had also asked him to be his running mate.

The family of Cordova and the Sanguniang Panlungsod have yet to release a statement on his passing.

A US West Point and Silliman University alumnus, Cordova was described by his peers as always “physically fit.”

He served in the Philippine Army and later briefly practiced law in Dumaguete. He also worked at the Bureau of Immigration.

Cordova started his political career in 2007 as an independent councilor, winning the 8th slot on his first try. He ran for higher office and won as vice mayor in 2010. Ryan Sorote