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Philippines: Executive Order Creates a Committee to Strengthen Church and State Relations

(Jan. 27, 2010) On November 23, 2009, an Executive Order (EO) “Creating the Church-Police-Military-Liaison Committee [CPMLC] to Formulate and Implement a Comprehensive Program to Establish Strong Partnership Between the State and the Church on Matters Concerning Peace and Order and Human Rights” was issued. (EO No. 847, Office of the Press Secretary Online, Nov. 23, 2009, available at

The EO provides that the CPMLC personnel will be appointed by the President, with the rank of Secretary, and will include “the Chief of the Philippine National Police (PNP), the Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), and the Chief of the National Prosecution Service (NPS), as members.” The EO also provides for the inclusion of religious associations, which will join the CPMLC upon the invitation of the President. (Id.)

Some of the powers and functions of the CPMLC include:

  • designing and implementing procedures and mechanisms for coordination between Church and State;
  • conducting seminars, dialogs, workshops, and other programs that will instill “mutual respect and reverence among the military, the police, the Church, and faith-based organizations”;
  • participating in research and studies for the promotion of life, peace, and justice; human rights; sanctuary programs; and the prevention and solution to “extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances”; and
  • selecting personnel from the PNP, AFP, and NPS for representation in the CPMLC. (Id.)

The EO also provides that “all government agencies are directed to actively cooperate and support the CPMLC” and that the “CPMLC may call upon any agency of the government for assistance and cooperation in the discharge of its functions.” (Id.)