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[G.R. No. 57883. March 12, 1982.] DE LA LLANAvs. ALBA FERNANDO, C .

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Facts: Petitioners assailed the constitutionality of Batas Pambansa Blg. 129 entitled "An Act Reorganizing the Judiciary, Appropriating Funds Therefore and for other Purposes," the same being contrary to the security of tenure provision of the Constitution as it separates from the judiciary Justices and judges of inferior courts from the Court of Appeals to municipal circuit courts except the occupants of the Sandiganbayan and the Court of Tax Appeals, unless appointed to the inferior courts established by such Act. They likewise impute lack of good faith in its enactment and characterize as undue delegation of legislative power to the President his authority to fix the compensation and allowances of the Justices and judges thereafter appointed and the determination of the date when the reorganization shall be deemed completed. The Solicitor General maintains that there is no valid justification for the attack on the constitutionality of the statute, it being a legitimate exercise of the power vested in the Batasang Pambansa to reorganize the judiciary, the allegations of absence of good faith as well as the attack on the independence of the judiciary being unwarranted and devoid of any support in law. Issue: W/O Batas Pambansa Blg. 129 should be declared unconstitutional for colliding with the security of tenure enjoyed by justices and judges. Held: The Supreme Court dismissed the petition, the unconstitutionality of Batas Pambansa Blg. 129 not having been shown. It held that the enactment thereof was in answer to a pressing and urgent need for a major reorganization of the judiciary. It is a fundamental proposition that the legislative power to create courts ordinarily includes the power to organize and to reorganize them, and that the power to abolish courts is generally co-extensive with the power to create them. The power to abolish was not intended to be qualified by the permanence of tenure. The right of Judges to hold office during good behavior until they reach the age of 70 years, or become incapacitated to discharge the duties of their office, does not deprive Congress of its power to abolish, organize or reorganize inferior courts.

A legislature is not bound to give security of tenure to courts. Courts can be abolished. In fact, the entire judicial system can be changed. To hold that tenure of judges is superior to the legislative power to reorganize is to render impotent the exercise of that power. Under Section 7, Article X, Judges are entailed to their count, from which they cannot be separated before retirement age except as a disciplinary action for bad behavior. Under Section 1, Courts are not entailed to their judges, because the power of the legislative to establish inferior court presupposes the power to abolish those courts. If an inferior court is abolished, the judge presiding that court will necessarily have to lose his position because the abolished court is not entailed to him. Section 1, Article X refers to the "Judiciary" as a fundamental department of Government, Section 7 of the same Article refers to the tenure of office of "individual" Judges (inclusive of Justices of inferior Courts); that is to say, tenure of office is a matter concerning the individual Judge. This "individuality" character of Section 7 is supported by the clause that the Supreme Court has the power to discipline individual judges of inferior courts.