Pro-environment bishop of northern Philippines dies

The late bishop of Baguio has been active in social and environmental issues
Pro-environment bishop of northern Philippines dies

A file image of Retired Bishop Carlito Cenzon of Baguio. (Photo courtesy of CBCP News) reporter, Manila
June 27, 2019
Bishop Carlito Cenzon, retired prelate of the northern Philippine city of Baguio, died at the age of 80 in a Manila hospital on June 26.

The late prelate is most remembered for fighting to protect a forest reservation near the city from an illegal road project allegedly spearheaded by a former government official.

Today, Mount Santo Tomas is covered by a permanent environmental protection order following the bishop's 2014 petition for a Writ of Nature.

The forest reservation has become a tourist destination after a television network used the area as location of a fictional village popularized by a highly rated soap opera.

He was also known for his crusade to end gambling in the city, urging the city's officials not to issue business permits to online gaming operations.

The late prelate served as bishop for almost three decades since he was appointed vicar of Tabuk, also in the northern Philippines, in 1992.

Bishop Cenzon was named vicar of Baguio in 2002, and later became its bishop when the city was elevated into a diocese. 

"The Diocese of Baguio is one in prayer with the [Congregation of the Immaculate Heart of Mary] community in this hour of sadness," said Bishop Victor Bendico of Baguio.

The late bishop was ordained priest in 1965 for the Congregation of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. He retired as prelate of Baguio in 2016 at the age of 77.

Among the posts he served in the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines include the chairmanship of the Commission on Mutual Relations.

He also served as member of the Commission on Indigenous Peoples and the Commission on Mission.

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