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Filipino priest who fought drug killings in the Philippines passes away

A Filipino priest, who advocated for peace and fought drug killings in the Philippines, has passed away.

Fr. Amado “Fr. Picx” Picardal, a Redemptorist priest, died on May 29, according to a statement from his congregation.

He died on the 47th anniversary of his religious profession, at 69.

“Fr. Picx was a brilliant and courageous missionary. He was a passionate advocate of peace and social justice and a professor of theology who has touched and transformed the lives of many,” said Fr. Edilberto Cepe, provincial superior of the Redemptorist Province of Cebu.

“May the light and joy that he left in this world radiate through us as we continue to become beacons of truth and social transformation,” he also said.

Fr. Picardal posted a poem on his social media page to commemorate the anniversary of his religious profession, five hours before he collapsed and died in Busay, Cebu City.

Fr. Picardal’s efforts were key in documenting the summary executions of drug-related personalities in Davao, a city in the southern Philippines when former president Rodrigo Duterte was still mayor.

He wrote an in-depth report in 2017 regarding the bloody activities of the so-called Davao Death Squad (DDS) from 1998 to 2015.

The documents submitted to the International Criminal Court (ICC) included this report, which sparked numerous attempts on Fr. Picardal's life.

The ICC is now investigating Duterte's drug killings.

Fr. Picardal was also known as the “cycling priest of the Philippines.”

In 2000, he biked for peace nationwide, beginning in the southern Philippines.

In 2005, Fr. Picardal biked for life and peace around Mindanao for three weeks. In 2008, he biked once again around the Philippines, this time covering over 5000 km in just 56 days.

Fr. Picardal was born in Iligan City in 1965 and is the eldest of eight children.

He served as executive secretary of the Episcopal Commission on Basic Ecclesial Communities of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP).


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