Baguio bishop hits ‘mass killing’ of trees

Baguio bishop hits ‘mass killing’ of trees

Bishop Victor Bendico of Baguio. PHOTO FROM THE DIOCESE OF BAGUIO

By CBCP News

July 4, 2020

Baguio City

A Catholic bishop has condemned what he called “continuing mass killing” of fully grown trees in Baguio City.

Bishop Victor Bendico of Baguio said the diocese does not sanction such activities because it goes against the Church teachings on the environment.

In a statement issued June 27, he said that the diocese “strongly opposes and considers as unacceptable the continuing mass killing of full grown and healthy trees”.

The bishop was reacting to the cutting of 53 pine trees and one Norfolk fir by a real estate developer to pave the way for a high-rise residential building.

Condominium developer Vista Residences defended its tree-cutting operation, saying it has secured permits from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.

The bishop, however, said it “affronts and defies” the diocese’s vision and mission on the sustenance of the environment.

The “murder” of trees, he added, “contempts and despises” the works of environment advocates such as the late Bishop Carlito Cenzon, who has fought for the preservation of the city’s pine trees.

Bendico also joined calls for a moratorium on tree cuttings and construction of big commercial buildings in the city.

“We continue to admonish the faithful to be united as caring and loving stewards of God’s creation to maintain Baguio as the City of Pines and Summer Capital of the Philippines,” he said.