The Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) will elect this coming weekend its new president.
The bishops will also elect this weekend other officers of the CBCP.
Current CBCP president Archbishop Socrates Villegas will step down holding the post for four years.
The new leader, who will assume office in December, will spearhead the Catholic Church's agenda for the next two years.
The CBCP also said that its vice president, Davao Archbishop Romulo Valles, was among the frontrunners for the post.
However, Villegas said any bishop could be elected.
“Everybody is a candidate and our belief is the spirit inspires us to write the name of the bishop that he has chosen to be CBCP President,” Villegas said.
The CBCP is embodied by 131 members, five of whom are administrators while 43 are retired.
The plenary will also determine the CBCP's next vice president and eight new regional members of its Permanent Council.
A bishop cannot serve as an official of the body for more than two tenures, which automatically disqualifies Villegas.
Even as an active critic of President Rodrigo Duterte, the 56-year-old archbishop of Lingayen-Dagupan positioned the CBCP "100%" in support of the government's campaign against drugs with emphasis on the rehabilitation of drug dependents. —ALG, GMA News