LAURO VIZCONDE, the founding president of the Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption (VACC), passed away Saturday after suffering a fourth cardiac arrest. He was 77.
Members of the VACC had held a vigil for Vizconde, who was rushed to the Unihealth Parañaque Hospital and Medical Center in Parañaque City on Friday.
The anti-crime crusader has been in and out of the hospital the past year because of diabetes complications and pulmonary diseases. His foot had already been amputated.
Arsenio “Boy” Evangelista Jr., VACC spokesman, said Vizconde’s family was to sign a waiver to remove his life support on Sunday but he died at 5 p.m. yesterday.
Evangelista said it was frustrating for their group because Vizconde died without getting proper justice for his wife and two daughters who were slain in 1991.
“The VACC is saddened by the loss of Ka Lauro who stands as a symbol of the continuing fight for justice for victims of heinous crimes,” he stated. “We are crying and grieving because the accused men in the Vizconde massacre did not serve their full sentence.”
Vizconde’s niece, Jonah de Lumen, said she believed that her uncle has always been wishing to be reunited with his departed family.
“He fought for 25 years. All I can say is he was a fighter, a man of principle,” she added.
Endless struggle for justice
In what has been described as the “trial of the century” eight men, led by former Senator Freddie Webb’s son Hubert, who is running for councilor in Parañaque, were convicted of the crime in 2000.
The Supreme Court, however, overturned the decision in 2010 and acquitted all of the convicts who were detained for 15 years.
“Ka Lauro continued to fight. He opted to fight it out against an influential politician and personalities more than 20 years ago,” Evangelista related.
“But after a long journey, everything turned to be a sad ending. He died alone on his wheelchair, fighting,” he added.
Vizconde’s last advice to the families of crime victims was to “never get tired of seeking for justice, always pray, and trust the Lord,” said Evangelista, whose son was shot and burned allegedly by the Dominguez carjacking syndicate in 2011.