Efren Elbanbuena, former PIA-11 chief, 66

Efren Elbanbuena (left) with Mohagher Iqbal of the MILF during a forum on the Bangsamoro Law in Iloilo City on Dec. 4, 2015. MindaNews file photo by H. MARCOS C. MORDENO

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/2 April) – Efren F. Elbanbuena, former regional director of the Philippine Information Agency (PIA)-Davao Region, passed away around 6 a.m. on Tuesday at the San Pedro Hospital in Davao City. He was 66.

Elbanbuena’s niece, Grace Gecosala Santos, announced his death on Facebook at around 9:00 a.m. and asked for prayers from his family and friends for her uncle.

“Today is a sad day for our family because the last member of our El Flo (Elbanbuena-Flores) Clan passed away just this morning, April 2, 2019. Asking for your prayers for the repose of his soul Efren Flores Elbanbuena. Rest in peace my dear uncle.. You will be sadly missed.. Goodbye, Choy,” Santos wrote.

Prayers and condolences from family, friends, and media colleagues poured on Elbanbuena’s timeline.

Santos said Elbanbuena, who had been confined at the hospital since March 23, experienced difficulty breathing and suffered from a complication due to diabetes.

She said a pacemaker would have been implanted after he experienced an “irregular heartbeat,” but the complication that occurred prevented him from undergoing the procedure.

The former official took the helm of the PIA-Davao for 25 years, from 1993 until he retired from government service in February 2018. (Antonio L. Colina IV/MindaNews)