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Decision No. 965

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April 26 2003
In Re: Request from the Coordinating Council of the Philippines Central Conference for a Declaratory Decision on the Eligibility of a Member of the Judicial Council to Serve as a Trustee of Wesleyan University-Philippines.

Digest of Case

Par. 2606 of the 2000 Discipline does not render a Judicial Council member ineligible to serve as a member of the Board of Trustees of Wesleyan University-Philippines.

Statement of Facts

The Coordinating Council of the Philippines Central Conference voted at its August, 2002 meeting to ask the Judicial Council for a declaratory decision on whether a member of the Judicial Council may serve as a trustee of Wesleyan University-Philippines. Rodolfo C. Beltran recused himself and did not participate in any of the proceedings related to this decision. Jurisdiction The Judicial Council has jurisdiction under ¶2610.2(i) of the 2000 Discipline. Analysis and Rationale The Judicial Council, in Memorandum 908, affirmed that a member of the Judicial Council may not serve on boards or agencies of any general, jurisdictional or central conference. The sole question here is whether a Judicial Council member may serve as a trustee of Wesleyan University-Philippines without violating ¶2606 of the 2000 Discipline. Wesleyan University-Philippines is an educational institution chartered under the laws of The Philippines. It is not an agency or board of the Philippines Central Conference. The charter provides that the trustees are appointed by the bishops of the Philippines Central Conference, but this does not make the institution an agency of the Central Conference. The request for the declaratory decision states that the university “has always been subject to the Philippines Central Conference, submitting reports regularly to the Conference, including its Coordinating Council and to all annual conferences within the Central Conference.” The making of reports to the conference and council does not, in and of itself, make Wesleyan University-Philippines a board or agency. There is nothing in any of the briefs to show how the Central Conference controls the university. The trustees are to make decisions governed by the charter of the university and not by any instructions of the central or annual conferences. Because Wesleyan University-Philippines is not a board or agency of the Philippines Central Conference, ¶2606 of the 2000 Discipline does not bar a member of the Judicial Council from being a trustee of the institution.

Decision

Par. 2606 of the 2000 Discipline does not render a Judicial Council member ineligible to serve as a member of the Board of Trustees of Wesleyan University-Philippines.

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