MANILA, Philippines -- Armed Forces of the Philippines chief General Delfin Bangit met with the Catholic Bishop's Conference of the Philippines on Tuesday, according to a military spokesman.
In an interview, AFP spokesman Lt. Col. Arnulfo Burgos confirmed that Bangit met with the bishops in Manila but clarified that it was the military chief who requested for the meeting contrary to reports that the religious group has summoned the official.
Burgos said Bangit asked for the meeting so he could brief all the bishops on the extent of the preparations of the Armed Forces of the Philippines as far as the May 10 elections is concerned.
Burgos also denied that there were certain issues that triggered the meeting with the CBCP, saying that it was a "follow-up" to the Bishop-Ulama Conference held in Davao a few weeks ago.
Earlier, there were reports of an alleged rift between leaders of the Catholic Church after some bishops opposed Archbishop Gaudencio Rosales' statement that a call for another people power after the elections would be "irresponsible."
Burgos said Bangit also tried to placate the worries of the religious leaders over rumors of a possible military junta being set up in an attempt to prolong the term of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
"There will be no junta, it's unconstitutional so we will not resort to that, ayaw niya 'yun at ayaw din nating magkaroon tayo ng military takeover (he doesn?t like a junta and we also don?t want a military takeover)," Burgos said.
"He (Bangit) also again reiterated his stand that he is for the constitution and that there's going to be a successful election," Burgos said.