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DE LA LLANA V ALBA short, the NA has the power to abolish an office that it

FERNANDO; March 12, 1982 created.


FACTS c. NO. There is no undue delegation of legislative power
- The National Assembly enacted the Batas Pambansa if the law is complete and provides for a standard.
Blg. 129, entitled "An Act Reorganizing the Judiciary, Reasoning
Appropriating Funds Therefor and for other Purposes". - In this case, the Act provides a clear standard. The
BP 129 mandates that Justices and Judges of inferior President may be authorized to fix the allowances and
courts from the Court of Appeals to municipal courts, compensation but guided by the
except the occupants of the Sandiganbayan and the Letter of Implementation No. 93 and pursuant to PD 985.
Court of Tax Appeals, unless appointed to the inferior d. NO. Removal from office is different from termination
courts established by such Act, would be considered by virtue of the abolition of the office. In case of
separated from the Judiciary. The intent of this Act is to removal, there is an office with an occupant who would
attain (1) more efficiency in the disposal of cases, (2) thereby lose his position. In the case of abolition, there is
improvement in the quality of justice dispensed in law no occupant. There can be no tenure to a nonexistent
by the court, (3) democratization of social and economic office.
opportunities and the substantiation of the true meaning Reasoning
of social justice. - Conflicting constitutional provisions, the power of the
- Procedure De La Llana,a judge, together with other NA to abolish an office on one hand and the security of
petitioners filed a Petition for Declaratory Relief and/or tenure, on the other, must be reconciled and
Prohibition, seeking to enjoin respondent Minister of the harmonized. Reconciliation and balancing is well high
Budget, respondent Chairman of the Commission on unavoidable under the fundamental principle of
Audit, and respondent Minister of Justice from taking any separation of powers.
action implementing BP 129. - Political theory (Holmes and Tuazon): There is more
ISSUES truism and actuality of interdependence among different
1.WON the petitioners have legal standing. branches of government
2.On Constitutionality of BP 129 than in independence and separation of powers.
a. WON there was lack of good faith on the part of Decision: Dismissed. The unconstitutionality of BP 129
Legislature in its enactment. has not been shown.
b. WON the abolition of an office by the Legislature is SEPARATE OPINION
valid. TEEHANKEE [dissent]
c. WON the provision of BP 129 (regarding fixing of The express constitutional guaranty of security of tenure
compensation and allowances of members of Judiciary of judges must prevail over the implied constitutional
by the Executive) constitutes an undue delegation of authority to abolish courts and to oust judges. Such
legislative power. subjection of a judge to public "harassment and
d. WON BP 129 is violative of the security of tenure humiliation ....can diminish public confidence in the
(Art. X Sec 7 of 1973 Constitution) enjoyed by courts." The ills the judiciary suffers from were caused
incumbent justices and judges and the Supreme by impairing its independence: they will not be cured by
Court's power to discipline and remove judges. totally destroying their independence. It would be
HELD ironical if Judges who are called upon to give due
1.YES. The petitioners, being members of the bar and process cannot count it on themselves.
officers of the court and taxpayers, have a personal and BARREDO [concur]
substantial interest in the case such that he has Inferior courts are mere creatures of law (of the
sustained, or will sustain, direct injury as a result of its Legislature) . It follows that it is within the legislature' s
enforcement. power to abolish or reorganize them no matter what the
2.a. NO. The Legislature, after careful study and cost is. He personally believes that the present situation
evaluation of the judicial system in the country, found in the judiciary calls for its reorganization. He believes
out that institutional reforms is both pressing and that the Constitution is a living instrument which
urgent. translates and adapts itself to the demands of obtaining
b. YES. The abolition of an office,if within the circumstances (realist approach in interpreting the
competence of a legitimate body and if done in good Consti)
faith suffers from no infirmity. AQUINO [concur in the result]
Reasoning For him the suit is premature, but affirming expressly
0 adherence to precedent (in Bendanillo Sr. v. Provincial that the abolition was in good faith. CONCEPCION
Gov and in Zandueta v. De La Costa, the Court also held (concurs in the result)
that the abolition of an GUERRERO [concur]
office is valid) Social justification and the functional utility of the law to
- Interpretation of the Consti provision - Article VII Sec 2 uphold its constitutionality is the ratio decidendi of this
of 1973 Consti "vests in the NA the power to define, case. For him, inquiring into the wisdom of the law is a
prescribe and apportion the jurisdiction of the various political question. Public office is a privilege in the gift of
courts, subject to certain limitation in the case of SC." In the State and not a right. Dura lex sed lex, even though
it is harsh.
ABAD SANTOS [concur and dissent]
Concurs but dissented on the ground that the statute
being free from any constitutional infirmity, the
"Executive is entitled to exercise its constitutional power
to fill the newly created judicial positions without any
obligation to consult with the Supreme Court and to
accord its views the fullest consideration.
DE CASTRO [concur except as qualified]
The power of the Legislature to create courts also
includes the power to abolish them. When there is a
conflict between public welfare(the duty of the
legislature to provide a society with a fair and effective
judicial system) and personal benefit (security of
tenure), the latter must of necessity to yield to the
former. The abolition of the courts is a matter of
legislative intent into which no judicial inquiry is proper.
Petition is premature. No actual controversy yet. Not
until the abolition of courts is not done, can there be
possibly a violation of the security of tenure. "Salus
populi est suprema lex" - The welfare of the people is the
supreme law.
MELENCIO-HERRERA [concur]
Tenure of Judges is different from tenure of Courts. A
legislature is not bound to give security of tenure to
courts. The constitutional guarantee of tenure of Judges
applies only as their Courts exist.
ERICTA [concur]
No law is irrepealable. The power to create an office
includes the power to abolish them. "Salus populi est
suprema lex" - The welfare of the people is the supreme
law.
PLANA [concurs and dissent]
Actual and not merely presumptive good faith attended
its enactment. His qualification being that the "President
is under no obligation to consult with the SC and the SC
as such is not called upon to give legal advice to the
President."