CBCP panel not with NTF-ELCAC since September – source

Rommel F. Lopez - Philstar.com
CBCP panel not with NTF-ELCAC since September � source
Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines president and Kalookan Bishop Pablo Virgilio David delivers his homily during a Good Friday service in his diocese on April 15, 2022.
Philstar.com screenshot

MANILA, Philippines — An official of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines confirmed to Philstar.com that the CBCP Episcopal Commission on Public Affairs (ECPA) has withdrawn its membership to the controversial National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) last September.

The official who requested anonymity confirmed that the Public Affairs Commission has quietly withdrawn last month its involvement as one of the private sector representatives to the government body tasked to end Asia’s longest running insurgency.

The Church official would not confirm or deny if this was in reaction to CBCP President and Kalookan Bishop Pablo Virgilio David’s previous clarification that the entire bishops’ conference is not involved with the NTF-ELCAC.

David said that the ECPA is in a position to “address some Church issues vis-à-vis government, including the issue about the red-tagging of some cause-oriented groups and Church organizations.”

He added that the ECPA’s involvement with the NTF-ELCAC gives the commission “more opportunity to express the Church’s specific concerns,” the bishop said.

A previous CBCP News report said that David intends “to address the matter in the upcoming meeting of the CBCP Permanent Council, which makes decisions on behalf of the conference when the plenary is not in session.”

“Can this Commission engage the said government body in a dialogue without having to join its ExeCom as member — i.e. as private sector representative? We hope to come up with some resolutions on this matter soon,” he said.

Coincidentally, a separate CBCP body released its online survey about the Public Affairs Commission’s involvement with the NTF-ELCAC.

The Facebook poll of the National Secretariat for Social Action (NASSA) or Caritas Philippines revealed that 90% of respondents were against the CBCP Public Affairs Commission’s involvement with the NTF-ELCAC.

The poll, which opened on September 22 and closed on September 25, asked commenters to "react" using emoticons on the question “What is your opinion on the CBCP Public Affairs Commission's membership in the NTF-ELCAC”. Respondents were also asked to write their comments on the box provided. The Facebook survey, whose sampling methodologies were not stated, had 152 respondents with only 26 comments collected.

Jing Rey Henderson, NASSA head of Communications and Partnership Development, said they conducted the survey to answer the “clamor” of the social action network.

She said that even though NASSA is not a member of the NTF-ELCAC but they pushed through with the survey since they were getting asked about the involvement of the CBCP’s Public Affairs Commission in a “justice and peace issue”. 

“Tapos we were being asked din if we considered the voice of the people (Then we were being asked too if we considered the voice of the people),” she added.

Philstar.com reached out to Fr. Jerome Secillano ECPA’s executive secretary for his reaction to the result of the survey but he declined to comment further.

vuukle comment


  • Latest
  • Trending
Are you sure you want to log out?

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

Get Updated:

Signup for the News Round now

or sign in with