Decision Number 80
Ruling of Bishop Jose L. Valencia in the Philippines Annual Conference Relative to the Conference Status of D. D. Alejandro, Whose Term as Bishop of a Central Conference Has Expired; and of D. D. Alejandro's Appeal Therefrom, and Petition for Rehearing
A Central Conference Bishop whose term of office expires or is terminated is returned to membership in the Annual Conference of which he was a member when elected Bishop. D. D. Alejandro is bound by the 1946 action of the Central Conference under which he was elected, consecrated, and served as Bishop. At the close of the 1948 Session of the Philippines Central Conference he automatically became an effective member of the Philippines Annual Conference.
Statement of Facts
For all intents and purposes this issue has already been determined, as the status of Brother D. D. Alejandro was determined by the Judicial Council at its April 28-30, 1949, Session. (See Judicial Council Decision 61.)
The present proceeding is in the nature of an appeal by D. D. Alejandro for a rehearing on the issue involved, though brought in the form of a ruling made by a Bishop in an Annual Conference.
The Constitution provides that the decisions of the Judicial Council shall be final (Paragraph 44, 1948 Discipline). Neither the Discipline nor the rules and regulations governing the procedure of the Council provide for a motion or petition for rehearing. However, should it be brought to the attention of the Council in any manner that an error has been made in a Decision, it will correct such error even to the overruling of a former Decision.
We have carefully considered the petition, argument, and exhibits presented by Brother Alejandro in behalf of his appeal. We agree with him that the action of the 1944 Session of the Central Conference was somewhat "muddled." The intent of the action of 1944 was clarified, however, in the action of the 1946 Central Conference when a new election was ordered for a term of two years. This action provided further that the Bishop then to be elected be consecrated for the two-year service, and contained the following provision:
"Upon the completion of such service of consecration, the term of office of the Bishop fixed by the 1944 Central Conference shall be considered terminated."
Brother Alejandro was elected for this two-year term, accepted same, was consecrated as a Bishop, and served two years. He is therefore bound by the provision above quoted and under which he was elected, consecrated, and served.
Neither the Constitution nor the Discipline provides the length of the term for a Central Conference Bishop. The "tenure" or term is to be fixed by the Central Conference under certain limitations. It is the decision of the Judicial Council that the 1946 action of the Central Conference under which D. D. Alejandro was elected, and was consecrated, and under which he served for the two years therein provided, was in accord with Paragraph 573 of the 1944 Discipline, and was therefore valid and binding on the appellant.
There being no merit in the appeal, the petition for rehearing is denied, and the ruling of Bishop Valencia thereon in the 1951 Session of the Philippines Annual Conference is hereby affirmed.