The last time I saw Ka Dan Vizmanos alive was on June11. Beng and I visited him to check on his condition, especially his diet. Some kasamas said he wasn’t eating well. His physical condition seemed to have deteriorated since we last saw him during his parangal at the University of Makati. His mind though was still sharp and he would engage us in conversation on political developments. He did not know that Ka Bel had died. No one had the heart to tell him that his good friend had gone ahead.
Ka Dan talked to us about missing his wife who had died last year. He talked fondly of her, saying that she stood by Ka Dan through all of the difficult experiences during Martial Law, including the period when Ka Dan was in detention for two years. I held Ka Dan’s hand during while he spoke of his wife. He loved her so and it made him sad that she had departed.
Ka Dan still thought of others even if he himself was in a bad condition. He almost cried at the thought that a kasama close to him would undergo an operation.
I told him how the Dutch prosecutors still wanted to pursue murder charges against Jose Ma. Sison as part of the continuing harassment of progressives in the Netherlands. He said that he expresses his solidarity Joema. “Tell Joema that I am with him, supportive of his fight. And tell him that Marxism-Leninism has been in my heart from the 70’s up to now.”
Ka Dan was a true revolutionary, a firm believer in the national democratic cause and socialist perspective of the Filipino people.
He passed away last night, June 23 after battling prostate cancer and other illnesses. He lies in state at the National Shrine of the Sacred Heart in San Antonio Village in Makati. Our condolences to his family and our highest tribute to a friend and comrade. We will have a parangalfor Ka Dan on Friday, June 27, 8pm.
Ka Dan will forego the usual military honors given to ranking military officers as himself. Instead of honor guards from the AFP, he preferred the display of plaques, books and other mementos from his time in the movement. He wanted to keep his funeral services simple, according to his son. From the simplest casket up to the cremation of his remains, he wanted everything done in a simple way.