Fr. Amado Picardal’s cause of death disclosed

Fr. Amado Picardal’s cause of death disclosed

Father Amado Picardal, CSsR.

By CBCP News

May 30, 2024

Manila, Philippines

The cause of death of peace advocate Redemptorist Fr. Amado Picardal has been revealed.

Fr. Edilberto Cepe, provincial superior of the Redemptorist Province of Cebu, said Thursday that Picardal died of “cardiac arrest” in Cebu City.

Tributes pour in for one of the staunchest human rights advocates in Mindanao whose sudden death caught everyone by surprise.

“He was found lifeless at the garden beside the Busay Retreat House, a short distance away from his hermitage at around 1:00 PM yesterday,” Cepe said on Thursday.

Picardal died at the age of 69 on the day of his religious profession 47 years ago.

A few hours before his death, he made a post on social media thanking God “for the grace and strength to remain faithful to the solemn promise I made through the years”.

“I am celebrating this in silence [and] solitude with my dog,” Picardal posted on Facebook along with a poem titled “A Hermit’s Companion” dedicated to his dog, Bruno.

The missionary was particularly vocal against the extrajudicial killings during the long mayoralty of former president Rodrigo Duterte in Davao City.

“For the last 20 years, I have been one of the voices that documented and denounced extrajudicial killings that started in Davao and spread to the entire country,” he said in 2021.

In 2017, the priest penned a detailed report on the “Davao Death Squad” from 1998 to 2015, which he said was included in the information sent to the International Criminal Court (ICC).

“I am hopeful that justice will be served no matter how long it takes,” Picardal added.

The bishops’ Episcopal Commission of Basic Ecclesial Communities expressed sadness over the death of Picardal, who also served as its former executive secretary.

“We remember him not only for his leadership but also for his unwavering faith and passion for social justice,” it said. “May his spirit continue to inspire us to build a more just and loving world.”

His remains will lie in state at the Cebu Redemptorist Church. The funeral service will also take place at the same church at 9 a.m. on June 6.

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