Bukidnon bishop assails ‘climate sins,’ calls for hope amid tragedy

MALAYBALAY CITY (MindaNews/19 Dec) – Malaybalay Bishop Jose A. Cabantan cited “climate sins” as the root cause of the flashfloods experienced brought by typhoon Sendong in Northern Mindanao even as he called for hope and prayers for the victims.

Cabantan told MindaNews it is warning for man to “really exercise its stewardship,” calling climate change as humanity’s failure as stewards.

“It calls for us to really take care of the environment and not to exploit or abuse it,” Cabantan said via telephone.

He added that it is worth checking how authorities managed to implement mitigating measures proposed after the 2009 flashfloods.

He said one of the measures suggested was the construction of a dike in two points in the city.

The bishop cited the unabated gold flash mining in Tumpagon, Cagayan de Oro, upstream of the Iponan River, which he points out continues to contribute to soil erosion and siltation downstream.

Another measure, he said, was the proposed dredging of the Cagayan de Oro River, in the portion near the San Agustin Cathedral. “But we know it required quite a big budget,” he admitted.

Cabantan, who was director of the Social Action Center of the Archdiocese of Cagayan de Oro prior to his appointment by Pope Benedict XVI as bishop of Malaybalay last year, called on parishioners to rise above the tragedy and await the celebration of the birth of Jesus.

“Let us have hope despite the darkness, despite the tragedy,” he said.

He called for prayers from the public for the victims’ recovery from the tragedy. Cabantan told Church-run radio station DXDB that every calamity is an opportunity for the parishioners to live their faith by “being of help to others.”

He called on the public to send relief goods and other donations.

Cabantan vowed that the Diocese of Malaybalay will send donations to both Cagayan and Iligan cities. (Walter I. Balane / MindaNews)