Bishop David of Kalookan elected new president of Philippine bishops’ conference

Bishop Pablo Virgilio David of Kalookan, the newly elected President of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines. COURTESY OF RYAN REZO/DIOCESE OF KALOOKAN

Bishop Pablo Virgilio David of Kalookan was elected president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) on July 8 during the conference’s online plenary assembly.

The 62-year-old prelate has been serving as the conference’s vice president since December 2017 with Archbishop Romulo Valles of Davao as president.

Meanwhile, Bishop Mylo Hubert Vergara of the Diocese of Pasig has been elected the CBCP’s new vice president.

Bishop Vergara, 58, is currently a member of the Permanent Council of the bishops’ conference and used to head the Episcopal Commission on Social Communications.

Bishop David was ordained priest for the Archdiocese of San Fernando in the province of Pampanga in 1983. He is known as one of the country’s leading Catholic Bible scholars.

In 2006, he was appointed auxiliary bishop of San Fernando, a post he served for about 14 years until he was named bishop of the Diocese of Kalookan in the Philippine capital in January 2016.

He used to head the Episcopal Commission on Biblical Apostolate of the bishops’ conference and was among five Filipino bishop-delegates to the Synod of Bishops on the Word of God in 2008.

In 2019, the Ateneo de Manila University conferred its “Bukas Palad Award” on Bishop David for his service to the poor and “for his courage in speaking out against the evil of injustice and violence.”

Bishop Vergara, meanwhile, was ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of Manila in 1990. He was appointed bishop of San Jose in Nueva Ecija in 2005. In 2011, he was named bishop of Pasig.

The newly elected officials will begin their terms of office on Dec. 1, 2021. They can hold up to two two-year tenures in office, or a total of four years.

The CBCP, an influential body in the country especially on social issues, meets in plenary session twice each year — in January and July.

When the plenary assembly is not in session, the Permanent Council acts for and on behalf of the entire organization. - LiCAS.news