Reuben Lista, chief executive of state-owned Philippine National Oil Company (PNOC) has died from Covid-19.

The 73-year-old Lista, known as Ben, was also a former commandant of the Philippine Coast Guard. He passed away on Tuesday morning local time due to Covid-19-related complications.

He had initially improved after testing positive for the coronavirus before suffering a cardiac arrest on Monday.

Lista was appointed as president and chief executive of PNOC in 2018 by Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte.

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PNOC and the Department of Energy were among those who sent condolences to Lista’s family.

“Your leadership and support are the reasons for our progress. With you, we achieved great milestones and success. We owe you so much for pushing us harder, your inspirational words will stay with us forever,” PNOC posted on its website.

“Admiral Lista was our staunch partner in realising our energy goals to effectively implement President Duterte’s vision of ushering in a comfortable and secure future for the Filipino people,” the DOE said.

A keen sportsman, Lista was also president of the Philippine Bowling Congress and the National Sports Association for Bowling, reported local media.

He graduated top of his class and earned a Bachelor of Science in Marine Transportation at the Philippine Merchant Marine Academy in 1969. Lista also had graduate degrees from the US Naval Postgraduate School and Ateneo De Manila University.