Malacañang on Sunday congratulated the new president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines, Davao Archdiocese Archbishop Romulo Valles.
“The new Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines [CBCP] head from Davao signals a new day of peace for a multi-cultural Philippines,” said Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella in a statement.
Archbishop Valles has served Mindanao as a Catholic priest for four decades, said Abella.
“His familiarity with Davao and Mindanao would augur well for the country as we promote interfaith dialogue and intercultural understanding as part of our efforts to rebuild Marawi and to transform Mindanao into a land of fulfillment,” said Abella.
“Our warm congratulations to Archbishop Valles as he leads the Catholic faithful in the country, towards developing a deeper spiritual life and for the Church to have a more open dialogue and cooperation with the government, especially in working for the poor and the marginalized,” Abella also said.
The CBCP on Saturday elected Valles as the new CBCP president.
Valles was elected at the Bishops’ bi-annual plenary assembly held at the Pope Pius XII Catholic Center in Paco, Manila.
He was one of the front-runners for the post, the CBCP said.
He will lead the CBCP after Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas steps down from the post he held for four years.
Valles will assume office in December.
During the 2016 presidential campaign period, Duterte met with Valles and other Catholic Church officials in Davao City.
Following the visit, Duterte said he would lessen his cussing and donate P1,000 for every cuss word he would utter to Caritas Davao.
The Davao-based prelate baptized Duterte’s grandson, Marko Digong Duterte Carpio last March.
Meanwhile, Bishop Pablo Virgilio David of Caloocan was elected as vice president.