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Military Bishop Leopoldo Tumulak dies at 72

Leopoldo Tumulak and Rodrigo Duterte - Camp Aguinaldo - 7 Dec 2017

President Rodrigo Duterte bows before Bishop Leopoldo Tumulak during the Change of Command Ceremony of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) at the grandstand in Camp Aguinaldo in Quezon City on Dece. 7, 2016. (Photo by ALBERT ALCAIN / Presidential Communications Operations Office)

Bishop Leopoldo Tumulak of the Military Ordinariate of the Philippines died on Saturday afternoon after succumbing to pancreatic cancer at the age of 72.

Tumulak’s death was announced on the news website of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP).


The prelate passed away at around 1:26 pm Saturday at the Cardinal Santos Medical Center in San Juan, where he was taken on Friday night.

Tumulak has been in and out of the hospital after diagnosed with pancreatic cancer earlier this year.


He became bishop of the Military Ordinariate in 2005, serving as the ecclesiastical pastor of military and police personnel, their dependents, and civilian employees.

At the time of his death, he was also chairperson of the CBCP’s Episcopal Commission on Prison Pastoral Care.

Born on Nov. 29, 1944 in Santander, Cebu, he was ordained as a priest in March 1972.

In January 1987, then Pope John Paul II appointed him auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Cebu. He was eventually orained a bishop in March that year.

Five years later, he was named the bishop of the Diocese of Tagbilaran.

He was appointed as bishop of the Military Ordinariate of the Philippines in March 2005. The ordinariate has around 130 priests.

On learning of the bishop’s death, Rodolfo Diamante, executive secretary of the Episcopal Commission that Tumulak headed, said: “It is a sad day for the jail and prison ministry because we lost not only a chair in our commission but one who truly is a father to us all.”


“Up to his last minute he wanted to spend his remaining days with his flock and spent quality time with them,” Diamante added. “His life of service will be etched in our hearts.” /atm

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