Origin & Structure of the Supreme Council for the Republic of the Philippines

Origin & Structure of the Supreme Council for the Republic of the Philippines

“The organization of a Supreme Council for the Philippines was preceded by the planting of the seeds of Scottish Rite after the Spanish-American War in 1898.  Prior to the formation of the Grand Lodge of the Philippine Islands in 1912 there were already Scottish Rite bodies existing under the Grand Oriente Espanol and the Scottish Rite Lyceum organized by Ill. Bro. Judae Charles S. Lobinger, 33°, who, in 1904 was appointed Deputy in the Philippines by The Supreme Council for the Southern Jurisdiction of the U.S.A., the Mother Council of the World, then the SGIG in California under whose jurisdiction was the Philippine Islands and other territories ceded by Spain to the U.S.A. after the Spanish-American war in 1898.

Through the efforts of Brother Lobinger, Mt. Arayat Lodge of Perfection was chartered in 1910 by the Mother Supreme Council.  This was followed by the organization of Manu Chapter of Rose Croix, Confucius Council of Kadosh and Gautama Consistory.  These four Bodies constituted the Manila Bodies where at that time, only Americans were accepted.

Realizing the need to involve Filipino Master Masons in the Scottish Rite who shied away from joining Manila Bodies due to language difficulty, a second Bodies was authorized to be formed in Manila.  Thus, on February 11, 1916, Lakandula Lodge of Perfection was chartered, followed by Burgos Chapter of Rose Croix, Malcampo Council of Kadosh in December of the same year, and Rizal Consistory in February 1917.  These Bodies constituted the Philippine Bodies where Filipino and Spanish Masons labored without any difficulty in the mode of communication.

It can be mentioned here that the unification of Lodges under the Spanish Jurisdiction and Lodges under the Grand Lodge of the Philippines was effected in 1917, not only in the Blue Lodges, but also in Scottish Rite Freemasonry.  Notwithstanding such endeavors for unity, there were still Filipinos who continued to join the Gran Oriente Espanol, an organization looked upon with disfavor by the U.S. and Europe.

Succeeding Brother Lobinger as Deputy was Ill. Frederic H. Stevens, 33°, under whose incumbency three other Scottish Rite bodies and one Lodge of Perfection were chartered by the Supreme Council for the Southern Jurisdiction.  They are: Bisayas Bodies in 1921; Mindanao Lodge of Perfection in Cagayan de Oro City on October 18, 1939; Cabanatuan Bodies in 1947; and the Luzon Bodies in 1949.

After the granting of political independence to the Philippines by the United States of America on July 4, 1946, Filipino Scottish Rite Masons advocated the establishment of Sovereign Supreme Council for the Philippines.  The move was initiated in 1947 by Manila, Philippine, Bisayas, Cabanatuan and Luzon Bodies, and Mindanao Lodge of Perfection.  At the biennial session of the Mother Council in October 1949, the petition and prayer of the five Scottish Rite Bodies and one Lodge of Perfection for an autonomous Supreme Council for the Philippines was heeded and its charter was granted on October 21, 1949.

The Philippine Supreme Council, with the five Subordinate Bodies and one Lodge of Perfection as the nucleus, met on December 16, 1949 for purposes of organization and crown the necessary number of members in accordance with the Instruction from the Mother Council.  December 30, 1949, the anniversary of the execution of Dr. Jose P. Rizal, was chosen to promulgate the advent of the new Supreme Council, to receive the vows of fealty of the members, and to announce to the world that the new Supreme Council, organized according to the ancient customs of our Craft, declared the following Manifesto:

From the East of the SUPREME COUNCIL OF THE THIRTY-THIRD AND LAST DEGREE, ANCIENT AND ACCEPTED SCOTTISH RITE OF FREEMASONRY OF THE REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES whose See is in the Grand Orient of Manila, Republic of the Philippines, duly and lawfully constituted under the Celestial Canopy of the Zenith, which answers to 14° 34° North Latitude and 120° 58° East Longitude of the Greenwich Meridian.

To all Regular SUPREME COUNCILS OF THE ANCIENT AND ACCEPTED SCOTTISH RITE OF FREEMASONRY, where in the world situated:

HEALTH, STABILITY AND POWER

BE IT KNOWN AND REMEMBERED FOREVER:

THAT as early as two months after the ratification of the Treaty of Paris (December 10, 1898) when all the territories of Spain, including the Philippines, were ceded to the United States of America as a consequence of the Spanish-American War and brought under the exclusive Jurisdiction of The Supreme Council (Mother Council of the World) of the Thirty-third Degree of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry of the Southern Jurisdiction of the United States of America, there were organized in the Philippines Scottish Rite Bodies working under the Mother Council of the World;

THAT the Scottish Rite of Freemasonry in the Philippines gradually grew to such an extent that there were, before the grant of political independence to the Philippines on the fourth of July, 1946, six Valleys with a total membership of nearly Two Thousand;

THAT subsequent to the establishment of an independent and sovereign Republic of the Philippines, the Scottish Rite Masons in the Orient of the Republic of the Philippines, feeling that they could afford and support a Supreme Council of their own, voted by a large majority to seek the establishment of the sovereign Supreme Council;

THAT on October 21, 1949, The Supreme Council (Mother Council of the World) of the Thirty-third and Last Degree of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry of the Southern Jurisdiction of the United States of America, whose See is at Charleston, South Carolina, having heard of the prayers of the Scottish Rite Masons of the Philippines, graciously granted them a Charter for a Supreme Council of the Thirty-third and Last Degree, Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry of the Republic of the Philippines, photostatic copy of which Charter is attached;

THAT on December 16, 1949, Illustrious Brother Frederic H. Stevens, 33°, who had been designated as Sovereign Grand Commander, crowned as 33rd degree active Illustrious Brothers Manuel Camus, 33°, and Francisco A. Delgado, 33°, and that later, the rest of the following Brethren were elected and crowned 33rd degree active and designated members of this Supreme Council of the Thirty-third and Last Degree, Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry of the Republic of the Philippines.

On January 1, 1950, The Supreme Council for the Republic of the Philippines came into being.  Our Supreme Council, like the other Supreme Councils, has its own Statutes.  It was promulgated in 1955, revised in 1978 and in 1982.  From time to time since 1892, as the need arises, amendments were made to certain Statutory provisions which were circularized to our Subordinate Bodies through memoranda.

ALLEGIANCE

All regular Scottish Rite Bodies in the Republic of the Philippines now have Charters issued by, or endorsed and ratified by the Supreme Council of Sovereign Grand Inspectors General  of   the  Thirty-third  and  Last  Degree,  Ancient  and  Accepted  Scottish  Rite  of Freemasonry of the Republic of the Philippines, and acknowledge and yield allegiance to the said Supreme Council, whose See is in the Grand Orient of Manila, Republic of the Philippines, near B.B., and under the C.C. of the Zenith which answers unto 14° 34’ North Latitude and 120°  58’ East Longitude of the Greenwich Meridian.

NAME OF THE SUPREME COUNCIL

The name of the Supreme Council is: THE SUPREME COUNCIL OF SOVEREIGN GRAND INSPECTORS GENERAL OF THE THIRTY-THIRD AND LAST DEGREE, ANCIENT AND ACCEPTED SCOTTISH RITE OF FREEMASONRY OF THE REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES.” – http://www.supremecouncil.ph/origin.html

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