The Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines has always been, and still is, wholeheartedly supportive of NAMFREL and its activities. The reason is because the bishops, priests, religious and church lay leaders were, and still are, among its active volunteers and. backers, Some bishops, like myself, have been national co-chairmen of NAMFREL. The present national co-chairman is Bishop Dinualdo Gutierrez of Marbel Diocese who is also concurrent chair of the CBCP Commission on Social Action, Justice and Peace. I am also a member of NAMFREL’s Board of Directors.


If of late there were anti-NAMFREL statements reportedly coming from groups which include bishops in their membership, they were probably misinterpreted or made to appear as coming from the bishops. There seems to be a serious flaw in communication between well-meaning groups helping the electoral process.


Again I exhort and urge everyone to humbly continue praying and making sacrifices for a legally correct, peaceful, thorough, and speedy national canvassing of votes. This last aspect of the electoral process is as sacred as the people’s right of suffrage, and therefore must be respected and protected by the citizens of the Republic. If there were violations of the process of whatever scale or substance, the proper recourse in a democracy is to the law and not to the streets.


May God bless us, guide our leaders, and keep us from all harm.





Archbishop of Davao

CBCP President

23 May 2004



The Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines

The Official Website of

CBCP Online