HomeNewsCebu Archdiocese hits disruption of Mass during demolition of public market

Cebu Archdiocese hits disruption of Mass during demolition of public market

“We denounce the gross disrespect of this religious activity and urge the city Government to take action against the personnel involved”

The Archdiocese of Cebu condemned the local government of Cebu and a development corporation for the disruption of a Holy Mass during the demolition of a public market in the city on July 18.

“We denounce the gross disrespect of this religious activity and urge the city Government to take action against the personnel involved,” read a statement from Father Nazario Ace Vocales, the archdiocese’s vicar for social advocacies.

A report on the news site Kodao said the Mass was being celebrated with market workers who faced “unjust demolition” of their stalls.



The Philippine National Police reportedly deployed 200 officers to “secure the area” during the demolition.

Market vendors affected by the demolitions are fighting the city government’s plan to transfer them to a market eight kilometres away from the current area.

The city’s oldest and largest public market, Carbon Market, was named after the Cebu Railroad coal depot that first occupied the location.

It has since grown to become a major tourist attraction in the city because of its prime location and its famous inexpensive items.

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“Generations of these vendors have sustained us through the fresh produce and affordable goods that they provide,” said Father Vocales.

In 2020, the city government entered into a 50-year agreement with Megawide for the market’s “redevelopment” to include “lifestyle establishments” and so-called mixed use developments.

A plan to transform the market into a transport hub to include a water taxi service to the Mactan-Cebu International Airport was also mentioned.

City market administration Wendell Censas said Monday’s incident was a clearing activity.

Elias Baquero, Cebu Parish Pastoral Council president, posted on Facebook to denounce the police action.

“As president of a Parish Pastoral Council (PPC), I condemn the policemen who disrupted the Holy Mass in Carbon Market, July 18, 2022,” read Baquero’s post.

Father Vocales said the vendors are being driven away during a time of economic uncertainty in a privatization scheme to benefit only a few investors [and] at the expense of vendors and consumers.

“[W]e stand with the vendors in their call to modernize the Carbon Market with the participation of all stakeholders and without depriving them of their livelihood and the consumers with the affordable price of basic commodities,” the priest was quoted in the report.

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