Socrates Villegas

  (Redirected from Socrates B. Villegas)

Socrates Buenaventura Villegas O.P (born September 28, 1960)[1] is a bishop of the Catholic Church in the Philippines. He is the current Archbishop of Lingayen-Dagupan in Pangasinan, and is the former president of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines, from December 1, 2013[2] to December 1, 2017, when he finished his second and final term as president of the said conference.[3]

Socrates B. Villegas

Archbishop of Lingayen-Dagupan
JfStAugustine4243BPatronalesBaliuagfvf 32.JPG
InstalledNovember 4, 2009
PredecessorOscar V. Cruz
Other postsPresident of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines (2013-2017)
OrdinationOctober 5, 1985
by Jaime Sin
ConsecrationAugust 31, 2001
by Jaime Sin
Personal details
Birth nameSocrates Villegas
Born (1960-09-28) September 28, 1960 (age 60)
Pateros, Rizal, Philippines
OccupationArchbishop, Priest
Previous post
Motto"PAX (Peace)"
Coat of armsSocrates B. Villegas's coat of arms


Socrates B. Villegas was born on September 28, 1960, the youngest of the three children of Emiliano Villegas and Norma Buenaventura who are both from Pateros.

He had his primary education at Pateros Elementary School, his secondary education at Pateros Catholic School and his tertiary at Colegio de San Juan de Letran. He studied for the priesthood at the San Carlos Seminary with an M.A. in Theological Studies.

In the secular field, he was one of the Ten Outstanding Young Men of the Philippines (TOYM) in the year 2000 and a Catholic Authors Awardee in 1994. The Bataan Peninsula State University conferred upon him a Doctor of Humanities degree "Honoris Causa" in recognition of his work for the Province of Bataan. He authored nine books of homilies and spiritual meditations.

Socrates B. Villegas has been the Metropolitan Archbishop of Lingayen-Dagupan since his appointment by Pope Benedict XVI on September 8, 2009. Due to the sudden death of the Bishop of San Fernando de La Union, he was also appointed Apostolic Administrator of the vacant see from November 16, 2011 until October 11, 2012 in a concurrent capacity. Prior to his assignment in Lingayen, Dagupan he served as Bishop of Balanga from 2004 until his transfer to his current see. He was Auxiliary Bishop of Manila from August 31, 2001 until his transfer to Balanga. He was ordained as a priest on October 5, 1985 and consecrated as a bishop on August 31, 2001 by the late Jaime Cardinal Sin for whom he served as private secretary for 18 years. Prior to his appointment as bishop, he was the first rector of the EDSA Shrine. He was also president of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) from 2013 to 2017.

He was past chairman of the Episcopal Commission for Catechesis and Catholic Education of the CBCP and formerly a member of the Pontifical Council for the Family of the Holy See. He is a professed member of the Secular Franciscan Order (SFO) and a novice in the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Dominic in the Philippines. He was a synodal father in the Synod of Bishops of 2012 and 2014.


He is a member of the Secular Franciscan Order (OFS), the Dominican Clerical Fraternity of the Philippines (DCFP), the Sovereign Military Order of Malta and the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem. He was the CEO of the Tenth World Youth Day held in Manila in 1995 and the Fourth World Meeting of Families in 2002.

In August 2005, Villegas told Filipino Catholics that they "cannot participate in any way or even attend religious or legal ceremonies that celebrate and legitimize homosexual unions".[4]

His coat of arms as Bishop of Balanga.

Philippine politicsEdit

Villegas' views on social and political issues in the Philippines have not been without controversy, mainly regarding high-profile issues such as the Reproductive Health Bill, the re-imposition of death penalty (long-opposed by the Catholic Church),[5] human rights violations, extrajudicial killings under the Duterte administration, and the burial of dictator Ferdinand Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani (Heroes' Cemetery).[6][7]

Following the 31st Anniversary of the 1986 EDSA People Power Revolution on February 25, 2017, Villegas published a 'letter' to his mentor, the late Jaime Cardinal Sin, where he denounced corruption, extrajudicial killings, and the restoration of the Marcos family to political power under the Duterte administration. Villegas lamented that "the dictator ousted by People Power is now buried among heroes. The Lady of one thousand two hundred pairs of shoes is now Representative in Congress."[8] Villegas' remarks were criticized by Duterte's daughter, current Davao City mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio, who described Villegas as "worse than a hundred President Dutertes".[9]

On July 19, 2019, the PNPCriminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) filed charges against Villegas and members of the opposition for "sedition, cyber libel, libel, estafa, harboring a criminal, and obstruction of justice".[10][11] Members of the opposition, as well as local and international human rights groups including Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International, denounced the charges as a politically motivated move intended to silence criticism of Duterte and his presidency.[12][13][14] The charges were eventually dropped because of lack of evidence.[15]

Coat of armsEdit

Styles of
Socrates Villegas
Reference styleThe Most Reverend
Spoken styleYour Excellency
Religious styleArchbishop

The two sides of the coat of arms are divided by a TAU cross in the middle. The sinister side is the personal seal of the archbishop. The dexter side is the seal of the Archdiocese of Lingayen-Dagupan.


  1. ^ "MOST REV. SOCRATES B. VILLEGAS, D.D." CBCP Online. Retrieved 16 June 2010.
  2. ^ "Soc Villegas elected new CBCP president |". Retrieved 2018-11-07.
  3. ^ "Archbishop Valles is new CBCP president | CBCPNews". CBCPNews. Retrieved 2018-11-07.
  4. ^ "Philippines archbishop orders Catholics not to take any part in gay marriages". 31 August 2015.
  5. ^ News, ABS-CBN. "'Death penalty shameful for Catholic Philippines'".
  6. ^ "Cardinal Sin's protegé on Marcos burial: 'An insult'".
  7. ^ News, ABS-CBN. "'Never forget': CBCP gives blessing to Marcos burial rallies".
  8. ^ "CBCP president Villegas writes letter to late Cardinal Sin about PHL 'nightmare'". GMA News. February 23, 2017.
  9. ^ "Sara Duterte tells CBCP's Soc Villegas: Dad knows spirit of EDSA more than you do".
  10. ^ "Robredo, ilang taga-oposisyon kinasuhan ng PNP-CIDG ukol sa 'Bikoy' videos". ABS-CBN News (in Tagalog).
  11. ^ "Sedition raps: Solons, bishop hit 'stupid' PNP". Philippine Daily Inquirer. Retrieved July 20, 2019.
  12. ^ "Critics of Philippines' Duterte Hit Back at Sedition, Libel Accusations". Wall Street Journal. July 19, 2019.
  13. ^ "Philippines: Drop Sedition Cases Against Duterte Critics". Human Rights Watch. July 23, 2019.
  14. ^ "Philippines: Drop Malicious Case Against Government Critics". Amnesty International. September 13, 2019. Retrieved 6 January 2021.
  15. ^ "Sedition charges dropped against 4 bishops in Philippines". Catholic News Agency. Retrieved 2020-03-05.

External linksEdit

Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Honesto F. Ongtioco
Bishop of Balanga
July 3, 2004–November 4, 2009
Succeeded by
Ruperto Cruz Santos
Preceded by
Oscar V. Cruz
Archbishop of Lingayen-Dagupan
November 4, 2009–present
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Jose S. Palma
CBCP President
Succeeded by
Romulo Valles