Duterte, Valles meeting set on July 9 at Malacañang

MANILA — Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque on Tuesday announced that the dialogue between President Rodrigo R. Duterte and Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) president Romulo Valles will take place on July 9 at Malacañang Palace.

“Well, I confirm that this Monday, July 9, Archbishop Valles will be meeting with the President here in Malacañang. So that’s the update on the dialogue,” Roque told a regular Palace press briefing.

“Although the President highlighted that this is really not usual because they have had an open communication lines with Archbishop Valles since he became President,” he added.

Both Duterte and Valles are natives of Davao with the latter serving as its archbishop prior to his election as CBCP president in July 2017.

In a press briefing on Monday in Maasin, Leyte, Roque said Malacañang has “high expectations” on the upcoming Duterte-Valles meeting.

Meanwhile, Roque clarified that he did not say “all” members of Catholic Church might connive with Communist Party of the Philippines to overthrow the Duterte government.

“I think it is important to quote what I said. I said ‘some’. I did not say ‘all’. So, it is not as if I was indicting the institution of the Church, some elements within,” Roque said.

“I should highlight that I did not generalize, some may see it as a very minor clarification but I was very clear ‘some’, not the institution,” he added.

Roque is a member of four-man team tasked by Duterte to dialogue with religious leaders following the President’s negative remarks against the Catholic Church.

Other members of the presidential panel include Cabinet Secretary Jun Evasco, Foreign Affairs Undersecretary Ernesto Abella and EDSA People’s Power Commission commissioner Pastor “Boy” Saycon. PNA-northboundasia.com