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Socrates Buenaventura Villegas, D.D. (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 58)
Pateros, Rizal, Philippines
Previous post
Motto"PAX (Peace)"
Coat of armsSocrates B. Villegas's coat of arms



Archbishop Socrates B. Villegas has been the metropolitan Archbishop of Lingayen-Dagupan since his appointment by Pope Benedict XVI in September 8, 2009. He is also the president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines. 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 the following year 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 priest on October 5, 1985 and consecrated bishop on August 31, 2001 by the late Jaime Cardinal Sin 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 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.

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 cause in recognition of his work for the Province of Bataan. He authored nine books of homilies and spiritual meditations.

He went through basic education at the Pateros Elementary School, Pateros Catholic School and Colegio de San Juan de Letran. He studied for the priesthood at San Carlos Seminary with an M.A. in Theological Studies.

The youngest of the three children of the Emiliano Villegas and Norma Buenaventura both from Pateros, he was born on September 28, 1960.


He is a member of the Secular Franciscan Order (OFS), 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 is also a very controversial figure in the Philippines due to his many involvements in politics. Among them are his stances on political issues like RH Bill, the re-imposition of death penalty (which the Church in the Philippines long opposed),[5] alleged human rights violations, killing of criminals, extrajudicial killings under the Duterte administration, and the Marcos burial at LNMB.[6][7]

His statements on the 31st anniversary of EDSA 1986 has also earned more ire not only from the Filipinos but also from Rodrigo Duterte's daughter, current Davao City mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio, who has coined Villegas as "worse than a hundred President Dutertes".[8]

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 right side is the personal seal of the archbishop. The left 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. ^ "Sara Duterte tells CBCP's Soc Villegas: Dad knows spirit of EDSA more than you do".

External linksEdit

Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Honesto F. Ongtioco
Bishop of Balanga
Succeeded by
Ruperto Cruz Santos
Preceded by
Oscar V. Cruz
Archbishop of Lingayen-Dagupan
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Jose S. Palma
CBCP President
Succeeded by
Romulo Valles