Filipino bishop promoted as 2 new bishops named

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Thursday, June 16, 2011


A FILIPINO bishop was promoted while two others were proclaimed bishops, the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) said in its website, citing an announcement from the Vatican.

Laoag Bishop Sergio Utleg has been proclaimed as new archbishop of Tuguegarao, said a report by CBCPNews, the CBCP's official news agency.

The report cited a communique from the Apostolic Nunciature in Manila that was sent to the CBCP indicated Pope Benedict XVI's appointment of Utleg.

Also contained in the communiqué are appointments of Monsignor Jose Bantolo as the new bishop of the Diocese of Masbate, and Monsignor David William Valencia Antonio as the auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Nueva Segovia.

"The appointment of the three prelates was made at the Vatican at noon (6 p.m., Manila time) on Wednesday, June 15, 2011," CBCPNews said.

The 67-year-old Utleg will take the place of retired Archbishop Diosdado Talamayan, 78.

Talamayan filed his resignation after celebrating his 75th birthday in 2008. It was promptly accepted by the Pontiff.

The Solana, Cagayan-born prelate, will serve the archdiocese with around 1.3 million Catholics, 82 priests, and 122 religious.

Utleg, who was installed on January 11, 2007, is also the current chairman of the CBCP-Episcopal Commission Indigenous Peoples.

Bantolo is currently the vicar general of the Diocese of San Jose de Antique prior to his appointment.

He will be replacing Bishop Joel Baylon, who was assigned to the Diocese of Legazpi in 2009. He will now serve the diocese with a population of 704,000 Catholics, 56 priests, and 18 religious.

Bantolo was born in Guisijan town in Antique on November 12, 1960 and ordained priest on April 21, 1986.

For his part, Antonio is already vicar general of the Archdiocese of Nueva Segovia prior to his promotion.

Antonio will now be helping Nueva Segovia Archbishop Ernesto Salgado in shepherding 509,000 Catholics, and 40 priests.

Antonio was born in Nagtupacan, Sto. Domingo, Ilocos Sur on December 1, 1963 and ordained a priest on December 1, 1988. (AMN/Sunnex)

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