Nuke plant foe new bishop of Antipolo
ERNIE B. ESCONDE
The Manila Times
BALANGA City, Bataan: A leading opponent of the revival of the controversial Bataan Nuclear Power Plant (BNPP) in Bagac town in this province has been appointed by Pope Francis as new bishop of Antipolo. Bishop Ruperto Santos of the Diocese of balanga replaces Bishop Francis de Leon, who has resigned after reaching the mandatory age of retirement. He received episcopal consecration as bishop of Bataan on June 24, 2010 after being appointed as bishop on April 1 of the same year. Santos, 66, of Bulacan is bishop promoter of the Stella Maris-Philippines of the Catholic bishops’ Conference of the Philippines that looks after the welfare of seafarers. He is also the former chairman, lately vice chairman, of the Commission for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People. The Antipolo Cathedral that serves as the seat of the bishop of Antipolo is an International Shrine of Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage. Santos is very vocal about his opposition against the revival and operation of the BNPP in bagac. The Bataan bishop had designated old churches in Hermosa, Orani, Sanal, Abucay, Balanga City, Pilar and Orion as seven pilgrim churches that thousands of pilgrims from other provinces visit, especially during the Lenten season. It was during his term as Bataan prelate that the Church of Orani became the first minor basilica in the province and the National Shrine and Parish of St. John Paul 2nd built in Hermosa. The BNPP was built in the 1960s during the administration of then-president Ferdinand E. Marcos Sr., father of incumbent President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. Critics have alleged that the construction of the multibillion power plant was tainted with corruption.