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Consti Banat v Comelec Digest

Consti Banat v Comelec Digest

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Published by: cmcsayson on Jul 05, 2010
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21 April 2009Ponente: Justice Carpio, with the Supreme Court sitting
en banc
SUMMARY: BANAT et al. question COMELEC’s allocation of seats reserved for party-list representatives under Sections11 and 12 of RA 7941. The Supreme Court interprets the law and formulates a whole new way of determining who getsthe seats. It sets aside COMELEC’s original lineup (as expressed in NBC Resolution No. 07-60) and clarifies that majorpolitical parties cannot participate in party-list elections and that the allocation of 20% of the seats in House of Representatives to Party-List representatives is a ceiling and not mandatory.FACTS:-14 May 2007 Election included elections for party-list representatives
COMELEC counted 15,950,900 votes cast for 93 parties under the Party-List System-
Sec. 11 of RA 7941
(Party-List System Act):
Parties will be ranked from highest to lowest number of votes garnered during elections
parties with at least 2% of the total votes for the party-list system are entitled to 1 seat each
 Those with more than 2% can have additional seats in proportion to their total number of votes
Each party shall be entitled to a maximum of 3 seats-
Sec. 12 of RA 7941
: (formula prescribed in Allocation of Party-List Seats, Annex “A” of COMELEC Resolution2847 of 25 June 1996)
COMELEC will rank, tally, and allocate party-list representatives according to percentage of votesobtained against the total nationwide votes cast
Additional seats will be allocated in proportion to the percentage of votes obtained by each group:
in relation to total nationwide votes
After deducting corresponding votes of those allotted seats under 2% threshold rule-9 July 2007: COMELEC, sitting as NBC (National Board of Canvassers), promulgated
NBC Resolution No. 07-60
Resolution proclaimed 13 parties as winners
Veterans v COMELEC
: formula for additional seats with more than 2% voteswill be determined only after all party-list ballots have been completely canvassed-Pursuant to 07-60, NBC promulgated
NBC Resolution No. 07-72
, declaring allocation of additional seatsaccording to
formula (First Party Rule)
BUHAY has the most number of votes (1,178,747, which is 7.2% of the total votes for the party-listsystem)
 Therefore, BUHAY is the “first party” according to
With 7.2% votes, it is entitled to 2 additional seats according to
formula for allocatingadditional seats for the first party
Other parties entitled to additional seats follow a different formula, based on number of additionalseats allocated to first party
Bayan Muna, CIBAC, GABRIELA, and APEC entitled to 1 additional seat each-27 June 2002: BANAT petitions to Proclaim the Full Number of Party-List Representatives Provided by theConstitution (docketed as
NBC No. 07-041
before the NBC) for the following reliefs:
 That full number (20%) of Party-List representatives shall be proclaimed
Paragraph (b), Section 11 and Section 12 of RA 7941 should be harmonized with Section 4, Article VI of the Constitution: Section 12 of RA 7941 should only be applicable to the first party-list representativeseats to be allotted on the basis of their initial ranking
3-seat limit prescribed by RA 7941 be applied
All party-list groups shall initially be given seats corresponding to every 2% vote received and anyadditional seats will be allocated in accordance with Section 12 of RA 7941 (in relation to totalnationwide votes cast after deducting corresponding votes allotted seats under 2% threshold rule
OR alternatively, declare Section 11 of RA 7941 unconstitutional and that Section 12 of RA 7941 shouldbe the procedure to be followed-3 Aug 2007 NBC promulgated
NBC Resolution No. 07-88
, saying through NBC Legal Group Head, Atty.Alioden D. Dalaig:
BANAT’s petition is moot and academic
thanks to the fact that on 14 May 2007, thetotal number of seats of each winning party was determined to be pursuant to the decision of 
Veterans v COMELEC
BANAT filed petition
for certiorari and mandamus
assailing NBC Resolution No. 07-88
ruling (NOT amotion for reconsideration)
-9 July 2007,
Bayan Muna, Abono, and A Teacher asked COMELEC
(acting as NBC)
to reconsiderdecision to use
stated in NBC Resolution No. 07-60
formula violates the Constitution AND RA 7941
COMELEC denied reconsideration-9 July 2007, COMELEC proclaimed three more party-list organizations entitled to one guaranteed seat underthe Party-List System and a total of 15 party-list organizations were proclaimed as of 19 May 2008PRESENT CASE FACTS:-BANAT brought the ff. issues before the Supreme Court:
Is the 20% allocation for party-list representatives mandatory or a ceiling?
Is Section 11 (b)’s 3-seat limit constitutional?
Is Section 11 (b)’s 2% threshold to qualify for one seat constitutional?
How will the party-list representatives be allocated?-Bayan Muna, A Teacher, and Abono raised the ff. issues:
COMELEC committed a grave abuse of discretion in promulgating NBC Resolution No. 07-60 toimplement First-Party Rule in allocating seats
Violates constitutional principle of proportional representation
First Party Rule violates RA 7941
Violates the “Four Inviolable Parameters” of the Philippine party-list system as provided for in
If COMELEC didn’t commit a grave abuse of discretion since it was just following the
ruling,this Petition is still justiciable, since the issues are constitutional and of transcendental importanceISSUES:-Is the 20% allocation for party-list representatives mandatory or a ceiling?-Is Section 11 (b)’s 3-seat limit constitutional?-Is Section 11 (b)’s 2% threshold to qualify for 1 seat constitutional?-How will the party-list representatives be allocated?-Does the Constitution prohibit major political parties from participating in party-list elections? Can they bebarred from participating there?SC Ruling:-Petitions have partial merit.
Petition is partially granted.
Resolutions of NBC No. 07-041 (PL) and NBC No. 07-60 are set aside
2% threshold in distributing additional party-list seats is unconstitutional, but it’s constitutionalfor determining who gets guaranteed seats
Allocation of additional seats will be in accordance with the procedure outlined in the text(Table 3; it involves fiddly math stuff)
Major parties are disallowed from participating in party-list elections-
4 inviolable parameters of Philippine-style party-list elections stated in
20% allocation:
combined number of 
party-list congressmen shall not exceed 20% of the total Houseof Representatives membership2.
2% threshold:
only parties with a minimum of 2% total valid votes cast for the party-list system arequalified to have seat3.
3-seat limit:
each party shall only have a maximum of 3 seats; 1 “qualifying” seat and 2 additional seats4.
Proportional representation:
additional seats will be computed “in proportion to their total number of votes”-
formula has mathematical flaws in terms of “proportional representation,”
which iswhy the Court is compelled to revisit it
Sec. 5 of Article VI of the Constitution:
(1) House of Representatives will not have more than 250 members unless otherwise fixed bylaw, elected…
From legislative districts in accordance with respective populations
From those elected through party-list system of registered national, regional, andsectoral parties or organizations
(2) Party-list representatives will constitute 20% of total number of representatives
formula to determine number for seats available to party-list representativesdoes not deviate from the Constitution
, which computes number of seats for party-list
representatives from the number of legislative districts
 There are 55 seats available to party-list representatives
Constitution: MANNER of allocating seats to party-list reps is left to the wisdom of the legislature
First Party Rule
 Justice Mendoza’s dissent: alternatively, use Germany’s Niemeyer formula
RA 7941: paragraphs (a) and (b) of Sections 11 and 12-Petitioners and intervenors have a problem with the
formula because it interprets the clause, “inproportion to their total number of votes” to be in proportion to the votes of the first party, which is contrary toRA 7941-
SC rules that the 2% threshold as found in Section 11 is unconstitutional ONLY in computing theallocation of additional seats
It makes it mathematically impossible to achieve the maximum number of available party list seatswhen the number exceeds 50
It frustrates the attainment of the permissive ceiling that 20% of the House of Representativesmembers will be party-list representatives-
Procedure to be observed for allocation of party-list representative seats under Sec. 11
In computing for additional seats, guaranteed seats won’t be included, since they’d already beenallocated; fractional seats are disregarded
formula is set aside; a NEW FORMULA is expressed for additional seats; allocation of additional seats is not limited to 2%-ers: (expressed in TABLE 3 in the text)
Note: this involves math stuff, so let’s just skip it and say that they keep on doing it until all of the available seats for party-listers are occupied
After all of the computing is done, all 55 seats are filled, and there are 36 winning party-listorganizations, and there was a maximum number of 3 seats for each party-On the participation of major political parties…
Framers of the Constitution intended political parties to participate in party-list elections through theirsectoral wings and can organize or affiliate with their chosen sector or sectors
RA 7941 also intended major political parties to participate in party-list elections.
To exclude majorpolitical parties would be against the Constitution and RA 7941
Sec. 9 of RA 7941 offers qualifications for party-list nominees
Sectoral party/org/coalition nominee must be a member of the sector
Natural-born Philippine citizen, registered voter, resident of the Philippines for at least 1 year,able to read and write, at least 25 years old, and a bona fide member of the party he seeks torepresent for at least 90 days before the day of election
 Youth sector nominees must not be more than 30 on the day of the election-
RA 7941’s 3-seat cap is valid; it prevents any party from dominating the party-list elections
20% allocation is a ceiling; neither RA 7941 nor the Constitution mandates that all 55 seats befilled
-BUT the Supreme Court has decided that the
ruling in
be continued
(8-7 vote)
Disallowed major political parties from participating in party-list elections
, whether directlyor indirectly-Separate opinion that allowed for 8-7 vote wasn’t included in the online text, but the discussion on the
formula was in the notes.
-RA 7941 is the implementing statute for Art. VI Sec. 5-Total composition of House of Representatives: not more than 250 members, unless otherwise provided by law-Classification for members:
District representatives – represent one congressional district each
Party-list representatives – elected throught party-list system
Sectoral representatives – existed only until 1998-Party-list system:
registered, national, regional, and sectoral parties or organizations submit a list of candidates arrangedin order of priority
during congressional elections, the parties are voted for and the number of seats each party will getwill depend on the number of votes garnered nationwide

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