By Leslie Ann Aquino
An official of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines believes that it should be President Duterte himself who should dialogue with the church and not just his representative.
But Father Jerome Secillano, executive secretary of the CBCP Public Affairs Committee, said this is just his personal opinion.
“Isn’t it better if in the actual dialogue President Duterte will be the one who will actually be there?” he said in an interview hours before holding a meeting with Pastor “Boy” Saycon, part of the panel tasked to hold dialogues with religious groups.
“Personally, that’s what I want,” added Secillano.
Secillano said the meeting should be between CBCP President Davao Archbishop Romulo Valles and Duterte.
He said this is doable since the two know each other since both are from Davao.
“That’s very doable. Who knows maybe they are already talking,” said Secillano.
The CBCP official said it should be Duterte himself so he could be held accountable for his words.
“If another official says something, he can easily change it. But if it is the President that says something during the dialogue, he can be held accountable of his words,” said Secillano.
The priest, meantime, explained that his meeting with Saycon is just preliminary.
“This is not yet the dialogue that we speak of. I was just tasked to hold preliminary talks to give our feedback,” said Secillano.
According to the priest, the bishops will still decide who will take part in the actual dialogue.
“It is up to the higher officials of the CBCP,” Secillano said.
He said he expects the decision to come out before the CBCP Plenary Assembly on July 7.