On Tuesday, President Rodrigo Roa Duterte formed a 3-man committee that will hold a dialogue with the Catholic church and other religious groups after his controversial comments and attacks to the Catholic Church.
The committee who is tasked to spearhead the reconciliatory talks between the Church and the State will be spearheaded by Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque, Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) Undersecretary Ernesto Abella, and EDSA People Power Commission member Pastor Saycon.
Saycon will be the one to lead the dialogue with the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) and other religious groups. On January, Duterte appointed Saycon as a member of the EDSA People Power Commission, He is also the secretary-general of the Council of the Philippine Affairs (COPA) that was formed in 2000 to protest against the Arroyo administration.
In an interview with dzRH’s Isyu, Saycon addressed that he was surprised by the sudden appointment of the President on him to be part of the founding committee. He also disclosed that it was Roque who called him and asked him to be part of the committee in which the President had approved.
“Magandang pagkakataon na magbukas ng linya ng komunikasyon lalo na ngayon dahil nagkaroon ng statements ang Presidente,” Saycon said. He added that he already made calls to some religious groups and to Bishop Broderick Soncuaco Pabillo of Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Manila to set a schedule in order to start the reconciliatory dialogue.
“We will meet them. We will go there with open heart and an open mind. We will listen to the Church,” Saycon addressed as he positively looks forward on the dialogue that may end the conflict and misinterpretation between both parties.
ERAP VS. THE CHURCH
Meanwhile, the incident of conflict between the Church and the State is not new in the history of the country.
Back on the administration of former President Joseph Estrada, Saycon was also part of the intervening team.
“Mas malupit noon kasi yung corruption was at its worse that time compared to Duterte since his morality inside the administration hindi siya mabubutasan,” Saycon noted.