A Philippine priest, who has battled for years against a nickel mine to protect Mindoro Island’s biodiversity and its indigenous people, received an “environmental hero” award on March 17.
Jesuit-run Xavier University bestowed a doctorate in humanities, on Father Edwin Gariguez for his sustained and significant efforts to protect the environment and indigenous peoples.
Father Roberto Yap, university president, said Father Gariguez’s ministry is an inspiring response to Pope Francis challenge “to hear both the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor.”
“The vocation you have patiently and perseveringly pursued in the peripheries has truly been serving the faith that does justice and ecological stewardship,” Father Yap said in his letter to Father Gariguez.
Father Gariguez, executive secretary of Caritas Philippines, received the award during the university’s graduation ceremony in Cagayan de Oro City on March 17, where he also delivered the keynote address.