Bishop Juan de Dios Pueblos of Butuan died on Oct. 21, the second Filipino bishop to die in a week after retired Cardinal Ricardo Vidal of Cebu passed away on Oct. 18. Bishop Pueblos, who served his diocese for 22 years, died after a long illness at the age of 74. The late prelate sparked controversy when he received a sports utility vehicle from the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office after he wrote former president Gloria Arroyo requesting a vehicle for his 66th birthday. In recent months, Bishop Pueblos had been vocal in calling on President Rodrigo Duterte’s administration to respect the judicial process and human rights in the government's campaign against illegal drugs. "Every death diminishes us. Something in us dies when a loved one dies," said Archbishop Socrates Villegas, president of the Philippine bishops' conference, in response to Bishop Pueblo's death. Archbishop Villegas said that with the death of Bishop Pueblos "a part of us dies too, but we look at death with hope and faith in the Risen Lord." "The battle is over. The victory is won. Well done good and faithful priest of God," said Archbishop Villegas. Born on March 8, 1943, in the town of Loon, in Bohol province, Bishop Pueblos was ordained a priest on March 28, 1968. He was ordained bishop on June 24, 1985. Before his appointment to Butuan Diocese in 1995, he served as auxiliary bishop of Davao in 1985 and bishop of Kidapawan in 1987. Up until his death, Bishop Pueblos was a member of the Episcopal Commission on Family and Life and vice chairman of the Permanent Committee on Public Affairs at the bishops' conference.
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