By JIGGER JERUSALEM
FORMER congressman Rufus Rodriguez has been confined at the Maria Reyna Hospital since Sunday.
Rodriguez said he contracted cough and fever, and needed to be hospitalized.
Nicole Managbanag, liaison to the media of Padayon Pilipino-Centrist Demokratic Party mayoral candidate Jose Gabriel La Viña, said Rodriguez had to take a rest due to overfatigue, apparently as a result of his campaign to win the congressional seat in the city’s 2nd District.
Quoting Rodriguez’s wife Fenina, Managbanag said, “He (Rodriguez) is well. There is nothing to worry about. He is just resting.”
This paper checked with the hospital and confirmed that Rodriguez was confined there. At presstime, he is in Room 272.
Rodriguez called up this paper at around 5:45 pm to confirm that he was in the hospital. He said he was coughing and had colds, and was advised to take a break. He also said he is scheduled to leave the hospital this morning.
“It’s nothing serious,” he said.
Meanwhile, Rodriguez’s opponent Councilor Yan Lam Lim, through former Lapasan barangay chairman Omar Labuntog, said he is hoping for his rival’s recovery.
“While we wish Rufus Rodriguez the best of health, the electorate may be served better if there is a public disclosure of his latest medical bulletin,” said Labuntog, Lim’s spokesperson and a former ally of Rodriguez.
Labuntog said he has received verified information about the confinement of the former legislator who is attempting to win back his congressional seat against Lim.
“We however do not want to speculate on this sensitive health issue,” Labuntog said, adding that while politics can be bitter, “ill-will against anybody is unacceptable.”
For his part, Rex Tinampay, Puntod barangay chairman and a Lim supporter, said “if indeed the former congressman is sick, we wish him to get well soonest. We may have political differences, but we do not wish to burn bridges.”
Meanwhile, Managbanag said the death of former mayor Vicente Emano this week and Rodriguez’s hospitalization have not hurt the coalition’s campaign.
“These developments might be considered negative, but we gained something positive from it. We actually gained more supporters in spite of what happened,” she said.
Managbanag said the coalition candidates would continue to push through until the last day of the campaign period this week.