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VACC chairmain emeritus Lauro Vizconde dies

Lauro Vizconde passed away on Saturday after suffering a series of heart attacks. STAR/ File

MANILA, Philippines - Lauro Vizconde, chairman emeritus of the Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption (VACC) died Saturday afternoon at the intensive care unit of a Parañaque City hospital after suffering four successive heart attacks. He was 78.

"Ka Lauro Vizconde just joined his family and our God now. Let us pray for his reposed soul,” said Dante Jimenez in a text message sent out at 5:32 p.m.

Vizconde founded the VACC with Jimenez in 1998 as a movement to pursue justice for victims of heinous crimes. Jimenez earlier said Vizconde was rushed by his aides to the Unihealth Parañaque Hospital and Medical Center in Sucat, Parañaque at about 8 p.m. on Thursday after complaining of weakness.

Vizconde, prior to his death, lived at the same house in Parañaque City where his wife Estrelita, 49, and daughters Carmela, 18, and Jennifer, 6, were all stabbed to death on June 30, 1991. Carmela was also raped. Jimenez said it was at the hospital that Vizconde had the series of four heart attacks. The last one sent him to the hospital’s ICU.

On Friday night, Jimenez said Vizconde’s relatives had informed doctors of their wish to detach him from the life support system. Jimenez said the Supreme Court’s decision to acquit all the accused in the murder of Vizconde’s wife and two daughters has caused his health to deteriorate.

"His health was aggravated by the SC’s acquittal. Nawala yung will to live niya,” Jimenez said. Vizconde was in the United States on a business trip when the crime happened. Several men, including former Sen. Freddie Webb's son Hubert, were put on trial and were convicted of the crime in 2000. The Supreme Court, however, overturned the decision in 2010 and acquitted all of the convicts, who had been detained since 1995.    

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