By Christina Hermoso
Following the acceptance by Pope Francis of the resignation of Bishop Edgardo Juanich of the Apostolic Vicariate of Taytay, 10 dioceses in different parts of the country are now vacant or without a bishop.
These include: the Diocese of Butuan following the demise of Bishop Juan de Dios Pueblos on October last year; the Diocese of Daet after Archbishop Gilbert Garcera was transferred to the Archdiocese of Lipa in Batangas; and the Diocese of Iligan after the death of Bishop Elenito Galido. The diocese is temporarily under the care of Bishop Severo Caermare, who is also the head of the Diocese of Dipolog.
The Prelature of Isabela is also without a bishop after Archbishop Martin Jumoad was transferred to the Archdiocese of Ozamis; as well as the Vicariate of Jolo in Sulu following the transfer of Bishop Angelito Lampon to the Archdiocese of Cotabato upon the retirement of Orlando Cardinal Quevedo.
The Diocese of Malolos, which is currently under the care of Cubao Bishop Honesto Ongtioco, is also vacant after the death of Bishop Jose Oliveros; as well as the Military Ordinariate of the Philippines following the demise of Bishop Leopoldo Tumulak. The MOP is temporary under the care of Cebu Auxiliary Bishop Oscar Jaime Florencio.
The Diocese of San Jose de Antique is also vacant after Archbishop Jose Romeo Juanito Lazo was transferred to Jaro, Iloilo to replace retired Archbishop Angel Lagdameo.
The Vicariate of San Jose, Occidental Mindoro, and Taytay are also without bishops.
In addition, four more bishops, whose resignations are yet to be accepted by Pope Francis, have retired after they reached the mandatory retirement age of 75 for bishops as stated by the Canon Law.
They are Novaliches Bishop Antonio Tobias, 77; Pagadian Bishop Emmanuel Cabajar, 76; Tuguegarao Archbishop Sergio Utleg, 75; and Cagayan de Oro Archbishop Antonio Ledesma, 75.