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April 30, 2014

In re: Letter of Associate Justice Reynato S. Puno

Facts:
- The petitioner, Reynato S. Puno, was first appointed as Associate Justice of the Court of Appeals on 1980.
- On 1983, the Court of Appeals was reorganized and became the Intermediate Appellate Court pursuant to BP Blg. 129.
- On 1984, petitioner was appointed to be Deputy Minister of Justice in the Ministry of Justice. Thus, he ceased to be a member of the Judiciary.
- After February 1986 EDSA Revolution, there was a reorganization of the entire government, including the Judiciary.
- A Screening Committee for the reorganization of the Intermediate Appelate Court and lower courts recommended the return of petitioner as Associate Justice of the new court of Appeals and assigned him the rank of number 11 in the roster of appellate court justices.
- When the appointments were signed by Pres. Aquino, petitioner's seniority ranking changes from number 11 to 26. 
- Then, petitioner alleged that the change in seniority ranking was due to "inadvertence" of the President, otherwise, it would run counter to the provisions of Section 2 of E.O. No. 33.
- Petitioner Justice Reynato S. Puno wrote a letter to the Court seeking the correction of his seniority ranking in the Court of Appeals.
- The Court en banc granted Justice Puno's request.
- A motion for reconsideration was later filed by Associate Justices Campos Jr. and Javellana who are affected by the ordered correction.
- They alleged that petitioner could not claim reappointment because the courts where he had previously been appointed ceased to exist at the date of his last appointment.

Issue: WON the present Court of Appeals is merely a continuation of the old Court of Appeals and Intermediate Appellate Court existing before the promulgation of E.O. No. 33.

Held: 

The Court held that the Court of Appeals and Intermediate Appellate Court existing prior to E.O. No. 33 phased out as part of the legal system abolished by the 1987 Revolution. The Court of Appeals that was established under E.O. No. 33 is considered as an entirely new court.

The present Court of Appeals is a new entity, different and distinct from the courts existing before E.O. No. 33. It was created in the wake of the massive reorganization launched by the revolutionary government of Corazon Aquino in the aftermath of the people power in 1986.

Revolution is defined as "the complete overthrow of the established government in any country or state by those who were previously subject to it." or "as sudden. radical and fundamental change in the government or political system, usually effected with violence or at least some acts of violence."

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