Boljoon happy with NMP’s decision to return ‘stolen’ panels

Boljoon happy with NMP’s decision to return ‘stolen’ panels
SunStar File

BOLJOON town expressed joy over the National Museum of the Philippines' (NMP) assurance that the four "stolen" pulpit panels will soon be turned over to them.

Boljoon Mayor Jojie Genesse Derama told SunStar Cebu that having that piece of history returned to Nuestra Señora del Patrocinio de Maria Santisima Parish Church means a lot to their town.

"Kami magsadya. Amoa pang mas i-strengthen amoang faith sa Ginoo," he said on Thursday, May 9, 2024.

(We will rejoice about it. We will further strengthen our faith in God.)

He said this resulted from a series of negotiations between the Archdiocese of Cebu, the Municipal Government, and NMP advocating for the return of the pulpit panels.

NMP orders return

The Board of Trustees of the NMP announced in a statement on Wednesday, May 8, that they unanimously approved recommendations to return the pulpit panels to Boljoon.

"With the objective of returning the panels to the pulpit of Boljoon church subject to certain terms which are envisaged to form part of a comprehensive agreement between the NMP and the Archdiocese of Cebu," a portion of the statement read.

They added the decision aims to support the church's status as a National Cultural Treasure and its potential nomination for Unesco World Heritage Inscription.

NMP said it instructed the director-general to initiate discussions with the Archdiocese of Cebu on the matter.

No date yet

Derama said they have not gotten a word yet on the exact date of the turnover of these panels, adding that the Archdiocese of Cebu will be the first to know about that information.

He said that for their part, they have increased security measures around the church to prove their worthiness to receive the pulpit panels.

The mayor said that they have boosted police and tanod visibility, as well as integrating more CCTV cameras around and inside the church. (KJF)

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