Dumaguete City Vice Mayor Alan Gel Cordova died of a heart attack on Sunday, May 30, after collapsing from his bike during a benefit bike run for the Philippine Army.
Cordova was 53 years old.
According to local FM station Yes The Best Dumaguete 106.3, Cordova died Sunday morning after multiple attempts to revive him at the Negros Oriental Provincial Hospital in Dumaguete City. He recently recovered from COVID-19, according to Councilor Joe Kenneth Arbas in an interview with local media.
Tributes poured in from Dumaguete residents on social media. A profile from the Dumaguete City Tourism Office described Cordova as a “popular man-of-the-people, lauded for his professionalism, independent streak, and genuine love for Dumaguete.”
Mayor Felipe Remollo expressed his condolences in a statement released while in isolation for COVID-19. “Despite our political differences, we manage not to take things personally. We remember him for his dedication and commitment to serve our city,” Remollo said.
Dumaguete writer Ian Rosales Casocot expressed his frustration over Cordova’s sudden passing on Twitter. “Oh, dear God. One of my favorite public servants in Dumaguete just passed on. He was a good man and truly a man of the people. I can’t help but think, nganong sya pa nga rare breed kaayo in politics? (Why him when he is a rare breed in politics?)”
“I imagined him as a future mayor and there was comfort in that assurance. Now it’s gone. So sad. A sad day for my city,” he added.
In a 2018 column for Business Mirror, Siegfred Bueno Mison wrote that Cordova engaged peoples’ organizations and civil society groups in debating city ordinances, a “revolutionary” move in local governance.
“When he decided to run for public office, he wanted to be very different from the usual politicians who Alan considers as virtually indifferent to the plight of the ordinary Dumagueteño. Prior to entering government service, Alan felt that he and the ordinary mortals in his city were mere statistics in the eyes of the traditional politicians, something to be exploited come election time by way of dole outs and political gimmick,” Mison wrote.
Cordova graduated from the Philippine Military Academy, and later the United States Military Academy at West Point in 1989, thereafter serving in the Philippine Army Scout Rangers. He also studied law in Silliman University and graduated in 2003. He ran successful campaigns for city councilor and vice mayor as an independent, defying the odds in a city dominated by well-entrenched political families. – Rappler.com