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DE LA LLANA vs ALBA report, the Committee expressed the need for greater efficiency in the

Mar 12, 1982 | Fernando, C. J. disposition of cases, and submitted plans for an institutional reform .
The enactment into law of BP 129 was done in good faith
1973 C, ART X, SEC. 7. The Members of the Supreme Court and judges of inferior
courts shall hold office during good behavior until they reach the age of seventy There is no impairment of security of tenure
years or become incapacitated to discharge the duties of their office. The Supreme
Valid abolition of offices is neither removal nor separation of the incumbents.
Court shall have the power to discipline judges of inferior courts and, by a vote of at
least eight Members, order their dismissal. In a removal from office, there is an office with an occupant who would
thereby lose his position.
The Court has to resolve the issue of the constitutionality of BP 129, entitled In termination by abolition of an office, there can be no tenure to a non-
An Act Reorganizing the Judiciary, Appropriating Funds therefore and for existent office. After the abolition of an office, there is in law no occupant.
Other Purposes. Impairment of security of tenure does not arise.
BP 129 mandates that Justices and judges of inferior courts from the Court Nonetheless, for the incumbents of inferior courts abolished, the effect is one
of Appeals to municipal circuit courts, except the occupants of the of separation, and no distinction exists between the effects of removal and
Sandiganbayan and the Court of Tax Appeals, unless appointed to the of the abolition of the office.
inferior courts established by such Act, would be considered separated from
the judiciary. The law may vest in a public official certain rights. It does so to enable them
Petitioners filed a Petition for Declaratory Relief and/or for Prohibition which to perform his functions and fulfill his responsibilities more efficiently. It is
was considered by the SC as an action for prohibition, seeking to enjoin from that standpoint that the security of tenure provision to assure judicial
respondents from taking any action implementing BP 129. independence is to be viewed. It is an added guarantee that justices and
o Implementation of BP 129 result in the termination of their incumbency judges can administer justice undeterred by any fear of reprisal or untoward
and would disregard the security of tenure provision of the Constitution. consequence.
o There is a lack of good faith in the enactment of said law. Justice Malcolm identified good judges with "men who have a mastery of
o Granting the President the authority to fix the compensation and the principles of law, who discharge their duties in accordance with law, who
allowances of the Justices and judges thereafter appointed and the are permitted to perform the duties of the office undeterred by outside
determination of the date of the reorganization is an undue delegation influence, and who are independent and self-respecting human units in a
of legislative power. judicial system equal and coordinate to the other two departments of
Respondents arguments: government."
o It is a legitimate exercise of the power vested in the Batasang There is no reason to assume that the failure of this suit to annul Batas
Pambansa to reorganize the judiciary. Pambansa Blg. 129 would be attended with deleterious consequences to
o The allegations of absence of good faith and the supposed attack on the administration of justice. It does not follow that the abolition in good faith
the independence of the judiciary are devoid of any support. of the existing inferior courts except the Sandiganbayan and the Court of
Tax Appeals and the creation of new ones will result in a judiciary unable or
ISSUE unwilling to discharge with independence its solemn duty or one recreant to
W/N BP 129 violated the security of tenure enjoyed by incumbent the trust reposed in it.
Justices and judges under Article X, Section 7 of the 1973 Constitution
NO RULING
Petition is dismissed.
RATIO
Abolition of an office if done in good faith is valid
The abolition of an office within the competence of a legitimate body if done
in good faith suffers from no infirmity.
A Presidential Committee on Judicial Reorganization was organized and
was tasked to formulate plans on the reorganization of the Judiciary. In its
Delegation to President of power to fix salary of new judges valid there being a
clear standard laid down by legislature
The basic postulate that underlies 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.
A standard defines legislative policy, marks its limits, maps out its boundaries and
specifies the public agency to apply it. It indicates the circumstances under which the
legislative command is to be effected.
It is the criterion by which legislative purpose may be carried out. Thereafter, the
executive or administrative office designated may in pursuance of the above
guidelines promulgate supplemental rules and regulations.
The questioned provision reads as follows:
Intermediate Appellate Justices, Regional Trial Judges, Metropolitan Trial Judges,
Municipal Trial Judges, and Municipal Circuit Trial Judges shall receive such
compensation and allowances as may be authorized by the President along the
guidelines set forth in Letter of Implementation No. 93 pursuant to Presidential
Decree No. 985, as amended by Presidential Decree No. 1597.
The existence of a criterion by which legislative purpose may be carried out is thus
clear. Thereafter, the executive or administrative office designated may in pursuance
of the above guidelines promulgate supplemental rules and regulations.
The standard may be either express or implied, and does not have to be spelled out
specifically. It could be implied from the policy and purpose of the act considered as
a whole. The undeniably strong links that bind the executive and legislative
departments under the amended Constitution assure that the framing of policies as
well as their implementation can be accomplished with unity, promptitude, and
efficiency.

BP 129 is entirely the product of the efforts of the legislative body


The Justices of the Supreme Court sought to be disqualified from hearing the case
at bar, Chief Justice Fernando, Ramon C. Aquino and Ameurfina Melencio-Herrera,
did not have any hand in framing or in the discussion of Batas 129 and at all events
their involvement in judicial reform cannot be avoided.
Their work was limited, as set forth in the Executive Order, to submitting alternative
plans for reorganization.
Even prior to the 1973 Constitution either the then Chairman or members of the
Committee on Justice of the then Senate of the Philippines consulted members of
the Court in drafting proposed legislation affecting the judiciary.