Security ready for installation of new Archbishop of Zamboanga

ZAMBOANGA CITY (MindaNews/12 May) – Security arrangements for the installation Wednesday of the new archbishop of Zamboanga are already in place, a police official said.

City police spokesperson Chief Insp. Ariel Huesca said their personnel will be placed on full alert status in time for the event that will be held at the Metropolitan Immaculate Conception Cathedral.

Huesca, who is also the public safety company commander, said they will implement a rerouting of traffic leading to the cathedral along the corner of La Purisima and Campaner Streets.

He said portions of the two treets will be closed to public utility vehicles during the installation ceremonies for Bishop Romulo dela Cruz, which will last the whole morning of Wednesday.

He said he could not discuss in detail the security plan but cited that the local police force will be augmented by personnel from national support units and the Police Regional Office-9 headquarters.

Dela Cruz, 66, was named by Pope Francis as this city’s archbishop last March 15.

Mayor Ma. Isabelle Climaco-Salazar announced that Papal Nuncio Guiseppe Pinto, the Apostolic Nunciature to the Philippines, will lead the installation of Dela Cruz.

Archdiocese of Zamboanga Administrator Monsigñor Crisologo Manongas earlier said that top Church leaders from across the country are expected to attend the installation ceremonies.

Prior to his appointment, Dela Cruz had served as Bishop of Kidapawan since June 2008, replacing Bishop Romulo Valles when the latter was named archbishop of this city.

Valles was made archbishop of Davao City last 2012 and Zamboanga has not had an archbishop since.

Dela Cruz had also served as bishop of Basilan Province from 1988 and of Antique from 2001 until his appointment as bishop of Kidapawan.

He was born on June 24, 1947 in Iloilo, but at an early age his family migrated to Mindanao.

Dela Cruz is currently a member of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines’ Episcopal Commission on Social Communications and Mass Media and vice chair of the Episcopal Office on Women. (MindaNews)