Bishop Leopoldo Tumulak of the Military Ordinariate of the Philippines died on Saturday afternoon. He was 72, according to a report posted on the website of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP).
Tumulak, who led the diocese since 2005, passed away at around 1:26 p.m. at the Cardinal Santos Hospital in San Juan City where he was rushed Friday night, according to the report.
The bishop was in and out of the hospital after he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in early 2017.
As military ordinary, Tumulak served as ecclesiastical pastor of the jurisdiction serving all military and police personnel, their dependents and civilian employees.
At the time of his death, Tumulak was also serving as chairman of the Episcopal Commission on Prison Pastoral Care of the CBCP.
“It is a sad day for the jail and prison ministry because we lost not only a chair in our commission but one who truly is a father to us all,” Rodolfo Diamante, ECPPC Executive Secretary.
According to him, the bishop “has reflected the image of a compassionate God who really cares about his people”.
“Up to his last minute he wanted to spend his remaining days with his flock and spend quality time with them. His life of service will be etched in our hearts. We will never forget him,” he said.
A native of Santander town in Cebu province, Tumulak was ordained priest in March 1971.
In January 1987, Tumulak was appointed Auxiliary Bishop of Cebu and served the post for five years until 1992 when he was named the bishop of Tagbilaran.
The Military Ordinariate has around 130 priests, 126 of whom are diocesan clergy, while four are religious.
Details of his wake will be announced.