07/08/2021, 12.25
PHILIPPINES
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Manila: Bishop David becomes the new president of the Bishops' Conference

The bishop of Caloocan was elected to head Philippine bishops. One of the leading Bible scholars in the country, he has opposed the violent anti-drug campaign promoted by Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte.

Manila (AsiaNews) – The Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) has a new president: Bishop Pablo Virgilio David of Caloocan.

CBCP vice president of the Conference since 2017, Bishop David was elected today during the CBCP’s summer assembly, which is being held in virtual form due to the pandemic.

The new president’s mandate will begin in December 2021 and will last two years, renewable for a second term. Also known by the nickname of Ambo, the 62-year-old David will replace Archbishop Romulo Valles of Davao.

Ordained priest for the Archdiocese of San Fernando in 1983, David holds a doctorate in theology from the Catholic University of Louvain (Belgium) and is known as one of the country’s leading Bible scholars.

In the CBCP he chaired the Episcopal Commission on the Biblical Apostolate.

In 2006 he was appointed Auxiliary Bishop of San Fernando, a position he held for nearly 14 years until his transfer to the Diocese of Caloocan in January 2016.

In 2019 the University of Manila awarded him the Bukas Palad Award for his service to the poor and "for his courage in speaking out against the evil of injustice and violence".

Bishop Davis is one of the main voices to have spoken out against Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte's anti-drug campaign; for this reason, the Philippine president accused him of involvement in drug trafficking.

The CBCP also picked a vice president: Bishop Mylo Hubert Vergara of Pasig. Ordained a priest in Manila in 1990, Bishop Vergara was appointed head of the Diocese of San Jose in Nueva Ecija in 2005. He has led the Diocese of Pasig since 2011.

Bishop Vergara, 58, is currently a member of the CBCP Permanent Council and a former chair the Episcopal Commission on Social Communications.

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