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<Tenure in Lower Courts>

<De La Llana v Alba>

<CASE NO.145> <Jan. 3, 2017> <Fernando, C.J.>

<Zarah Jeanine M. Canuto>

The doctrine of non-delegation- is that it is the legislative body which is entrusted with the competence to make laws and to alter and
repeal them, the test being the completeness of the statute in all its terms and provisions when enacted.

Petitioners sought to bolster their claim by imputing lack of good faith in its enactment and characterizing as an 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

De La Llana, et. al. filed a Petition for Declaratory Relief and/or for Prohibition, seeking to enjoin the Minister of the Budget, the Chairman
of the Commission on Audit, and the Minister of Justice from taking any action implementing BP 129 which mandates that Justices and
judges of inferior courts from the CA to MTCs, except the occupants of the Sandiganbayan and the CTA, unless appointed to the inferior
courts established by such act, would be considered separated from the judiciary. It is the termination of their incumbency that for
petitioners justify a suit of this character, it being alleged that thereby the security of tenure provision of the Constitution has been
ignored and disregarded.


WON the reorganization violate the security of tenure of

justices and judges as provided for under the

BP 129

What is involved in this case is not the removal or separation of the judges and justices from their services. What is important is the
validity of the abolition of their offices. Well-settled is the rule that the abolition of an office does not amount to an illegal removal of its
incumbent is the principle that, in order to be valid, the abolition must be made in good faith. Removal is to be distinguished from
termination by virtue of valid abolition of the office. There can be no tenure to a non-existent office. After the abolition, there is in law no
occupant. In case of removal, there is an office with an occupant who would thereby lose his position. It is in that sense that from the
standpoint of strict law, the question of any impairment of security of tenure does not arise.
Wherefore, the unconstitutionality of Batas Pambansa Blg. 129 not having been shown, this petition is dismissed. No Cost.

Makasiar and Escolin, JJ.
Barredo, J.
Aquino, J.
Fernandez, J.
Guerrero J.
Abad Santos , J.
De Castro, J.
Melencio-Herrera, J.
Ericta, J.

Teehankee, J.