Peace, anti-drug killings advocate Fr. Amado Picardal dies

By Ferdinand Patinio

May 30, 2024, 11:30 am

<p>Fr. Amado Picardal<em> (Photo courtesy of CBCP News)</em></p>

Fr. Amado Picardal (Photo courtesy of CBCP News)

MANILA – Biking priest and peace advocate Fr. Amado Picardal passed away on Wednesday. He was 69.

Picardal's death was announced by his congregation The Redemptorists, the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) news website reported on Wednesday night.

The Redemptorist Province of Cebu said Picardal died of cardiac arrest. He was found lifeless near the retreat house garden, just a few meters from his hermitage at around 1 p.m.

His remains will lie in state at the Redemptorist Church in Cebu City. Wake Masses will be held starting 8 p.m. Thursday.

The funeral service will also be held at the Cebu Redemptorist Church on June 6 at 9 a.m.

Picardal died on the 47th anniversary of his religious profession.

The priest helped document the killings in Davao when former president Rodrigo Duterte was still the city's mayor.

In 2017, the priest wrote a detailed report on the so-called Davao Death Squad (DDS) from 1998 to 2015, which he said became part of the information submitted to the International Criminal Court (ICC).

The ICC has been investigating Duterte over the killings that took place under his administration's anti-drug crackdown.

On the other hand, the provincial superior of the Redemptorist Province of Cebu, Fr. Edilberto Cepe, described the priest as 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,” he said in a statement.

Picardal was also dubbed the “biking priest” for taking long-distance bicycle rides to highlight his advocacies.

He served as the former executive secretary of the Episcopal Commission on Basic Ecclesial Communities of the CBCP. (PNA)