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De la Llana v.

Alba
The Judicial Department Lower Courts Tenure
March 12, 1982
Mendoza, J.
SUMMARY:
BP 129 was enacted, titled An Act Reorganizing
the Judiciary, Appropriating Funds therefor and for Other
Purposes. De la Llana is a judge that would be removed
from his position because of this law, so he assailed the
validity of this law, because according to him, it goes
against the constitutional provision on the security of
tenure of incumbent justices and judges.
ISSUES:
1. Whether or not BP 129 is unconstitutional for
going against Article X, Sec. 7 of the 1973
Constitution.
FACTS: (This case is made up of mostly rulings and
separate opinions; no other antecedent facts other than
the one above).
HOLDING:
In ruling on the case, the Supreme Court iterated 11
points, all of which may or may not be directly necessary
to justify the constitutionality of BP 129:
1. Petitioners have legal standing as taxpayers;
2. The Batasang Pambansa did not act arbitrarily in
enacting the assailed law, but rather, in good
faith. The law was created after much study, and
the circumstances called for a pressing need to
create a major reform in the judiciary.
3. (zero relevance to tenure)
4. Cabinet Bill #42 was the basis for BP 129. The Bill
alleged that its enactment would result in, 1.)
more efficiency in the disposal of cases, 2.)

5.

6.
7.
8.

improvement in the quality of justice, and 3.) the


reform would fit the court system to the
exigencies of present- and future- Philippine
society. The deliberations of the Batasang
Pambansa amounted to 590 pages; this means
that much discussion and research went into this
law. It is not arbitrary.
The petitions lack of merit is made even clearer
because the abolition of offices as stated in BP
129 is done in good faith.
Petitioners could not prove that BP 129 was NOT
within the bounds of legislative authority.
(Irrelevant to tenure)
Removal is distinguished from termination by
virtue of the abolition of office. After abolition
of office, there is in law no occupant, while in
removal, there is an occupant who could lose his
position. THIS IS AN ISSUE OF ABOLITION OF
OFFICE. In this case, the question of security of
tenure does not arise.
In the case of abolition of an inferior court (as in
the case at bar), there is no difference between
removal and abolition of office.

In the choice of alternatives between two


constructions where one would save and another
would invalidate a statute, the former is to be
preferred.
9. The Batasang Pambansa has express authority
to reorganize inferior courts and in the process
to abolish existing ones.
10-12. (have nothing to do with tenure)

CONST. (1973) art. X, 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 years or become incapacitated to
discharge the duties of their office. The
Supreme Court shall have the power to
discipline judges of inferior courts and, by a
vote of at least eight Members, order their
dismissal.

GUYS DITO NA RULING


PARA DI SAYANG
INK/PAPER NIYO
PAGPRINT. HIHI.
Petition dismissed.
Unconstitutionality of BP
129 not shown.