DSC_2873 webMANILA, July 7, 2013— Archbishop Socrates Villegas of Lingayen-Dagupan has been named new president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP).

Villegas, current CBCP vice president, will succeed Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma who did not seek for a second term.

At 52, the protégé of the late Manila Archbishop Jaime Cardinal Sin will lead the 96 active and 40 honorary members of the bishops’ collegial  body.

Davao Archbishop Romulo Valles, meanwhile, was elected vice president in elections held at the Pope Pius XII Catholic Center in Paco, Manila on Sunday.

According to CBCP statutes, Villegas and Valles will take their new posts on December 1, 2013.

Palo Archbishop John Du was reelected Treasurer.

The assembly also elected Fr. Marvin Mejia, then assistant secretary general, as Secretary General succeeding Msgr. Joselito Asis who will now return to the Diocese of Daet.

Villegas was ordained priest by then Manila Archbishop Jaime Cardinal Sin in 1985. He was appointed Auxiliary Bishop of Manila in 2001.

In 2004, he was appointed bishop of Balanga diocese before he was named archbishop of Lingayen-Dagupan in 2009.

Valles, 61, was ordained a priest in 1976 before he was appointed as the fourth bishop of Kidapawan in 1997. In 2006, he was named archbishop of Zamboanga until 2012 when he was transferred to Davao archdiocese.

The CBCP officials have two-year tenure in office, or a total of four to include the second term. If tradition is to be followed, incumbent officials are reelected for their second and last term.

But Palma yielded his CBCP post so he could give more attention to the Cebu Archdiocese which will be hosting the International Eucharistic Congress in 2016. (CBCPNews)