Election of Davao prelate as new CBCP head signals new day of peace, Abella says
Malacanang lauded on Sunday the election of Davao Archbishop Romulo Valles as the new president of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP).
In a statement, Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella said this "signals a new day of peace for multi-cultural Philippines."
Valles succeeded Lingayen-Dagupan Arbishop Socrates Villegas, who finished his second and final term.
Abella noted that Valles has served Mindanao as a Catholic priest for four decades.
"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," he said.
The Duterte administration has created Task Force Bangon Marawi, which is tasked to rebuild and rehabilitate war-torn Marawi.
The Islamic State-linked Maute Terror Group started attacking and occupying Marawi on May 23, prompting President Rodrigo Duterte to declare martial law in the whole of Mindanao.
"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 said.
Prior to his election, Valles, 66, was the CBCP vice president. Celerina Monte/DMS