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Former bishop of Baguio dead at 80

MANILA  (UCAN): Bishop Carlito Cenzon, the former bishop of the northern Philippine city of Baguio, died at the age of 80 in a Manila hospital on June 26.
 
The late bishop 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 popularised by a highly rated soap opera.
 
He was also known for his crusade to end gambling in Baguio, urging the city’s officials not to issue business permits to online gaming operations.
 
Bishop Cenzon was bishop for almost three decades since his appointment as vicar of Tabuk, also in the northern Philippines, in 1992. He was named vicar of Baguio in 2002, and later became its bishop when the city was elevated to a diocese. 
 
Bishop Cenzon was ordained to the priesthood in 1965 for the Congregation of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. He retired as bishop of Baguio in 2016 at the age of 77.
 
Among the posts he held in the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines was the chair of the Commission on Mutual Relations. He also served as member of the Commission on Indigenous Peoples and the Commission on Mission.
 
“The Diocese of Baguio is one in prayer with the (Congregation of the Immaculate Heart of Mary) community in this hour of sadness,” Bishop Victor Bendico of Baguio, said.

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