Cavite pays tribute to activist priest Joe Dizon
SAN PEDRO, Laguna – A workers’ organization paid its respects to its founder and activist priest Jose “Joe” Dizon.
The plight of workers was “his number one advocacy apart from his work in the church,” said Cecilia Tuico, the international relations officer of the Workers’ Assistance Center, Inc. in a phone interview Tuesday.
Dizon, who had fought the Marcos dictatorship, founded WAC in November 1995. A year after that, WAC organized the Solidarity of Cavite Workers (SCW), an organization that assists the formation of labor unions in the Cavite export processing zone and claims a membership of around 10,000 union members and individual workers.
The 65-year-old priest, who celebrated his 40th year in priesthood on October 15, died of complications from by diabetes late Monday night. He is survived by two brothers and a sister.
“Our deepest gratitude goes to Padz—our priest, oganizer, teacher, and negotiator,” said SCW chairperson Jojit de Guzman in a text message written in Filipino. Workers used to address Dizon as ‘Padz,’ short for “padre” or “father.”
De Guzman said that despite his deteriorating health, “Padz” stood at picket lines and helped unions negotiate with company management.
“He’s a big loss. There were only a few like him in the church,” he added.
The remains of Dizon were taken to the San Roque Cathedral in his hometown of Caloocan.
His remains are scheduled to be transferred to WAC’s office in Rosario, Cavite, on November 7 and to the Diocese of Imus, also in Cavite, on Nov. 8.
Interment is scheduled on Nov. 11 at 9 a.m. at the Bishop’s House in Imus City.
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