Davao Archbishop elected CBCP head

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(File photo) President Rodrigo Duterte (left) with Bishop Romulo Valles

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, July 8) — Davao Archbishop Romulo Valles has been elected as the new President of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP).

Valles will replace Archbishop Socrates Villegas, who completed his second and last term as CBCP President after serving for four consecutive years.

Valles will assume his new post on December 1. He also served as CBCP Vice President for two terms, which made him a front-runner in the race to the presidency, CBCP News said.

His election is an early birthday gift for Valles, who turns 66 on July 10. He was born in Maribojoc, Bohol, and was ordained as a priest on April 6, 1976.

The country's Catholic leaders gathered at the Pope Pius XII Catholic Center in Paco, Manila on Saturday to vote for their next leader, the CBCP said. All bishops could be elected, except those retired.

Bishop Pablo Virgilio David of Kalookan was also chosen as CBCP vice president. .

Admonishing the President

Valles had a fascinating meeting with then presidential aspirant Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte in December 2015.

Duterte himself admitted to being admonished by the archbishop for his habit of cursing, which did not spare Pope Francis, the highest leader of the Catholic Church. Duterte promised to avoid cussing, and even imposed a P6,000 fine on himself.

The President, however, still cursed during his speeches and press conferences.

Valles in March this year also officiated the baptism of Duterte's grandson Stonefish, whose full name is Marko Digong D. Carpio, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte's third child with husband Manases Carpio.