Activist priest Joe Dizon dies; 65
SAN PEDRO, Laguna—Activist priest Jose “Joe” P. Dizon died on Monday at 11:15 p.m. due to complications in the internal organs, according to Cecilia Tuico of the Workers’ Assistance Center Inc., a group that Dizon founded in November 1995. He was 65.
According to Tuico, Dizon was taken to the National Kidney and Transplant Institute (NKTI) in Quezon City on Tuesday last week, due to an infected wound in his foot. Dizon was diagnosed with diabetes 22 years ago and was on insulin medication since.
At the NKTI, the doctors found out he had developed pneumonia and also suffered complications in his kidneys. Dizon underwent dialysis before he suffered a cardiac arrest and slipped into a coma.
Two weeks earlier, on Oct. 15, he was also rushed to the NKTI after he collapsed a few minutes after concelebrating Mass with Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle and Imus Bishop Reynaldo Evangelista in Rosario, Cavite, to mark his 40th year in the priesthood.
Dizon, who then headed the Basic Christian Community-Community Organizing, a Catholic Church program in the ’60s, was a staunch critic of Marcos’ martial law. He was also one of the convenors of the Solidarity Philippines and Clergy Discernment Group, an organization of priests and nuns for the advancement of the Church’s social justice agenda, as well as of the poll watchdog Kontra Daya.
Recently he helped organize protests against the pork barrel.
In an interview on Oct. 22, he said he stayed a priest all these years believing it was his commitment to serve the Church of the Poor.
Upon learning of Dizon’s death, several personalities and groups working for the cause of social justice posted their tributes via Twitter, including Renato Reyes, secretary general of the militant group Bagong Alyansang Makabayan .
“We received the sad news that Fr. Joe Dizon has passed away. We pay the highest tribute to a dedicated fighter for justice and freedom,” Reyes said.
The board of trustees of the Ecumenical Institute for Labor Education and Research said, “He (Dizon) offered 40 years in service of workers & poor. Mabuhay po kayo!”
The labor group Kilusang Mayo Uno said: “Fr. Joe Dizon’s 40 years of priesthool have been spent upholding workers’ basic human and trade-union rights.”—With Rick Alberto, INQUIRER.net
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