The Anglican Communion Office has just received news that the Rt Revd Robert Lee Omengan Longid, Bishop of the Northern Philippines, died of a heart attack in hospital on 20 January.
Bishop Longid, who was 60, became Suffragan Bishop of the Northern Philippines in the Philippine Episcopal Church in 1983 (diocesan in 1986) after several academic and pastoral appointments. He held many senior positions in the local Anglican Church and played an important role in ecumenical circles including: Co-ordinator for the Philippine Independent Church and the Episcopal Church Concordat Council from 1980 to 1983; Executive Secretary for the Episcopal Church in the Philippines 1978-1983; on the General Committee of the Christian Conference of Asia from 1990-present; Vice-Chair of the National Council of Churches in the Philippines (NCCP) 1976-1978; Chair of the NCCP Peace Commission 1989-present. He was also President of a number of national organisations including the Rural Bank of Bontoc, the Montanosa Peace Movement, the Ecumenical Institute of Labor Education and Research and the People's Foundation for Organisers.
Bishop Longid played a key role in international Anglican affairs. He was the new Chairman of the Anglican Council of the Churches of East Asia, having previously been Vice-Chairman, and Convenor of the Anglican Peace and Justice Network. Bishop Michael Hare-Duke, the retired Bishop of St Andrews who has worked closely with Bishop Longid on peace and justice issues said:
"The death of Bishop Bob Longid will be a loss to the Philippine Church and also to the wider Anglican Communion. As bishop of the Northern Philippines he has contributed to the peace process which has been slowly developing since the fall of President Marcos. By his charismatic leadership he personally made possible some of the trust building measures in Sagada, the capital of Mountain Province between the Government and the rebel forces.
"Throughout Philippine society he was committed to the cause of the poor, championing the impoverished fishing community on the edge of Manila and the rag pickers who make their living in the squalor of Smokey Mountain.
"Over the years he has contributed much to the thinking of the Anglican Peace and Justice Network and hosted a notable meeting at Manila in 1992 from which the delegates travelled out to wide and very personal contacts throughout the region, often in an excruciatingly uncomfortable bus where Bob Longid's rich baritone soared above all the discomfort and lapped us into laughter."
Bishop Longid is survived by his wife, Cecilie and two children. Details of his funeral arrangements have not yet been received.