Masbate diocese has new bishop
NAGA City, Philippines—The Most Rev. Jose B. Bantolo was installed as bishop of Masbate at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, a Philippine Army official who attended the ceremony said.
The Apostolic Nuncio to the Philippines, Archbishop Giuseppe Pinto, installed Bantolo as the head of Masbate’s 704,000 Catholics in a ceremony attended by Nueva Caceres Archbishop Leonardo Z. Legaspi, Masbate Gov. Rizalina Seachon-Lanete and Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma, according to Major Apollo Herrera.
Herrera represented the Army at the rites in lieu of Lieutenant Colonel Julian Pacatan, commander of the 9th Infantry Battalion of the 9th Infantry Division of the Philippine Army, which is based in Milagros, Masbate.
Prior to his new post, Bantolo was the vicar general of the diocese of San Jose in Antique province.
In Masbate, he succeeds Bishop Joel Z. Baylon, who has been bishop of Legazpi since 2009.
Bantolo becomes the third bishop of Masbate following the late Bishop Porfirio R. Ilagan and Baylon.
The diocese of Masbate was without a bishop since Baylon’s transfer to Legazpi.
Bartolo was born in Laua-an, Antique, and was ordained priest in 1986. He became the rector of St. Peter’s Seminary in 1988 and president of St. Anthony’s College in 2007. Both schools are in Antique.
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