The oldest Filipino bishop succumbed to internal bleeding last Nov. 20, three years before the Golden Jubilee of the diocese he had led for 28 years. He was 92.

San Pablo Bishop Emeritus Pedro N. Bantigue, JCD, D.D., was the last living Filipino council father of the Second Vatican Council.

Bantigue was ordained priest on May 31, 1945. Upon his consecration as bishop on July 25, 1961, he became auxiliary bishop of Manila and titular bishop of Catula.

Bantigue was named the first residential bishop of San Pablo by Pope Paul VI on April 18, 1967 and remained in the office until July 12, 1995. He retired at the age of 75.

Bantigue also served as member of the Marriage Tribunal, and chairman of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines’ commissions on Family and Life, Clergy, and Prisoners’ Welfare. He was treasurer of the CBCP in 1976.

Bantigue was born on Jan. 31, 1920 in Hagonoy, Bulacan. He graduated with a degree in education in 1948 from the University of Santo Tomas. He finished his Juris Canonici Doctor (J.C.D. – Doctor of Canon Law) at the Catholic University of America in 1957.

According to the website of the Diocese of San Pablo, Bantigue’s motto is Dei sumus adjutores which means “We are God’s co-workers,” taken from the first letter of Saint Paul to the Corinthians.

His remains were interred at Saint Paul the Hermit Cathedral in San Pablo, Laguna last Nov. 26. Gracelyn A. Simon

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