Joseph Peter Calleja, Manila
Updated: July 08, 2021 11:33 AM GMT
Bishop Pablo Virgilio David of Kalookan. (Photo: Vincent Go)
Bishop David, 62, who has served as the conference’s vice president for the last four years. was elected on the first day of the CBCP’s two-day plenary, which is being held online because of Covid-19 restrictions.
Bishop David’s diocese in the Philippine capital Manila was among the first to congratulate him.
“It is with great joy that our shepherd in the Diocese of Kalookan has been elected the new president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines,” it said in a Facebook post.
Bishop David attended Jesuit-run San Jose Seminary and Ateneo de Manila University. where he took his theological studies with former Manila archbishop Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle, now prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples in Rome.
He is well known as a staunch critic of President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on illegal drugs
Bishop David also holds a doctorate in theology from the Catholic University of Louvain in Belgium.
He is well known as a staunch critic of President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on illegal drugs. In 2017, he likened the thousands of victims to “slaughtered sheep.” Duterte responded to David’s criticisms by calling him a “son of a whore.”
“You know if you are a priest and you want to attack me ... Listen, you son of a whore, get out of your pulpit. Don’t use religion. Come here. In the church, you attack me. When I fight back, this will be hit,” Duterte told Bishop David in 2019.
The bishop was also among several priests accused of sedition after videos surfaced online accusing Duterte's family of being involved in illegal drug operations.
He will begin his two-year term as head of the CBCP on Dec. 1.