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Decision No. 1170

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October 29 2010
In Re: Review Of A Bishop’s Decision Of Law In The Philippines Annual Conference Concerning The Re-Election Of A Member Of The Annual Conference Board Of Trustees Whose Term Has Expired

Digest of Case

Under Paragraph 2512 of the 2008 Discipline, members of the annual conference board of trustees who have completed a term of service are eligible to serve additional terms. There is no language of limitation on the issue of successive terms of service by members of the annual conference board of trustees. The bishop’s decision of law is affirmed.

Statement of Facts

During a special session of the Philippines Annual Conference, the Conference Committee on Nominations presented a class of nominees for election to the position of Conference Trustees. The presiding bishop was asked for a bishop’s decision of law on whether a nominee who had completed a term of service was eligible for re-election to the Board of Trustees. The bishop ruled instanter that because ¶ 2512 of the 2008 Discipline is silent on the issue of limitation of terms, there was no bar to the nominee’s re-election.

Jurisdiction
The Judicial Council has jurisdiction pursuant to ¶ 2609 of the 2008 Discipline.
Analysis and Rationale
We note from our review of the annual conference minutes that a motion to request a declaratory decision was adopted by the Conference after the Bishop’s ruling. Because we are required to review all decisions of law made by bishops in annual conferences, we have accepted jurisdiction pursuant to ¶ 2609. We disregard the Annual Conference request for declaratory decision as unnecessary surplusage. Paragraph 2512 mandates that each annual conference shall have a conference board of trustees. Although ¶ 2512 sets requirements for the composition of and the process for election to the board of trustees, it has no provision limiting the length of service other than establishing a trustee’s term at four years. There being no provision for limitation of terms, there is nothing in ¶ 2512 that prohibits the re-election of a conference trustee to successive terms of service.

Decision

Under Paragraph 2512 of the 2008 Discipline, members of the annual conference board of trustees who have completed a term of service are eligible to serve additional terms. There is no language of limitation on the issue of successive terms of service by members of the annual conference board of trustees. The bishop’s decision of law is affirmed. Ruben T. Reyes recused himself and did not participate in any of the proceedings related to this decision.

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