BELIZE CITY, Thurs. Mar. 9, 2017–Prominent lawyer and politician, Philip Palacio, celebrated his 43rd birthday at the start of this year.
However, weeks later his life would be altered forever. He had been diagnosed with an advanced brain tumor and lung cancer.
Since the grim diagnosis made in mid-February, Palacio had been receiving treatment at a medical facility at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA).
On Tuesday our newspaper received reports that Palacio had passed sometime around 4 a.m. Hours later his mother-in-law would also pass away.
Deputy Party Leader of the PUP, Cordel Hyde, told us that Palacio, “Always defied the odds. He was always a high achiever. Was always underestimated but was quietly brilliant. He gave so much of himself to so many and eventually all that giving took a toll on him. We lost a true brother right there. Needless to say, his family’s loss is greatest, but we as his friends will mourn his passing forever. You could not meet a realer person. Leaving us this young was the only selfish thing he ever did.”
The PUP also released a statement saying, “It is with profound sadness that we announce the passing of Attorney-at-Law and former PUP Standard Bearer for the Mesopotamia Division Mr. Philip Palacio. On behalf of our Party Leader Hon. John Briceño, Deputy Leader Hon. Cordel Hyde, the PUP National Executive, and your PUP extended family, we convey our sincerest condolences to Annie and the entire family. Please know that our thoughts and prayers are with you. May Phil RIP.”
According to Palacio’s eldest child, Juwan Palacio, his father was a, “Grassroots, Garifuna product of the Southside of Belize City who many would say overachieved based on where he came from.”
He continued, “You [Philip Palacio] always made our family proud and encouraged us to excel at the highest level possible when it came to our education because you knew it was the key to success…You always managed to stay humble and stay true, always remembered where you came from, you were always kind and giving of yourself to others and that you will be remembered for. You were loved by many.”
Palacio’s other son Jaleel Palacio posted to Facebook, “You have lived a full life Pops you have traveled and done it all. Your legacy is going to be tough to live up to due to fact you have set the bar so high. However, I’m on my way. There are no good byes in this life, only new beginnings.”
Efforts are being made to have Palacio’s body returned into the country on Wednesday.
Prior to pursuing his legal studies, Palacio had served as a journalist for the Amandala newspaper. In 2008, after completing his legal studies, he was accepted as a member of the bar. In 2012 he contested the General Elections for the Mesopotamia constituency.
He had previously worked at the Legal Aid Center and had recently gone into private practice with Mr. Derrick Courtenay.
Palacio leaves behind his wife, four children and a grandchild.