VETERANS vs. COMELEC (2000) Panganiban, J.: I.

Prologue Party-list election winners, parameters according to the Constitution and RA 7941: 1. 20% allocation: combined member of all party-list Congressmen shall not exceed 20% of the total membership of the House of Representatives [HR] including those under the party-lists 2. 2% threshold: only those parties garnering a minimum of 2% of the total valid votes cast for the party-list system are “qualified” to have a seat in the HR 3. 3-seat limit: each qualified party, regardless of the number of votes it actually obtained, is entitled to a maximum of 3 seats, that is, 1 qualifying and 2 additional seats 4. Proportional representation: the additional seats which a qualified party is entitled to shall be computed “in proportion to their total number of votes” II. Case -Petitions for Certiorari with application for TRO or preliminary injunction assailing COMELEC Resolutions ordering the proclamation of 38 additional party-list representatives [reps] “to complete the full complement of 52 seats in HR as provided under Sec. 5, Art. VI of the Consti and RA 7941 III. Facts -May 11, 1998: first party-list election, simultaneous with national elections -June 1998: COMELEC proclaimed 13 reps from 12 party-lists with at least 2% votes th th -July 1998: 14 rep proclaimed from 13 party-list with at least 2% votes -PAG-ASA [party-list for peace and good governance] filed with the COMELEC a petition to proclaim the full number of party-list reps provided by the Consti, alleging: -that the filling up of the 20%membership of party-list reps in the HR provided in the Consti was mandatory -that the literal application of the 2% vote requirement & 3-seat limit under RA 7941 would defeat this constitutional provision -9 other party-list organizations filed motions for intervention seeking the same relief on the same grounds -Oct. 1998: COMELEC second division promulgated the present assailed Resolution granting PAG-ASA’s petition and ordering the proclamation of 38 additional reps, saying: -that, at all times, the total number of congressional seats must be: 80% district reps, 20% party-list (disregarding the 2%-vote requirement) -the 12 parties [earlier proclaimed] objected to the proclamation of the additional 38 reps. They contended that only those with at least 2% votes are entitled to seats in the HR and that additional 2 seats should be allocated to those with at least 2% votes, in proportion to the number of votes cast for the winning parties -COMELEC en banc affirmed the decision above [3 concur, 2 dissent] -the parties petitioned to the SC, respondents: COMELEC & the 38 additional parties -January 1999: SC issued Status Quo Order IV. Issues Main question: how to determine winners of the 1998 party-list election 1. Is the 20% allocation for party-list mentioned in Sec. 5(2), Article VI of the Consti mandatory or merely a ceiling? Should the 20% allocation for party-list solons be filled up completely and all the time? 2. Are the 2% threshold requirement & 3-seat limit provided in Sec. 11 (b) of RA 7941 constitutional? 3. If #2 is yes, how should the additional seats of a qualified party be determined? V. Ruling 1. Number of party-list law-makers, formula, translated from consti provision: No of district reps x .20 = no. of party-list representatives .80

of votes of concerned party x No. Mendoza. Jr. Ynares-Santiago. Mendoza.. 20% allocation is a mere ceiling. VI. 3. of seats allocated to the first party No. Determine the number of seats the first party is entitled to. then the first party shall be entitled to 2 additional seats. The party receiving the highest number of vote shall thenceforth be referred to as the “first” party. -To promote and encourage a multiparty system of representation: The 3-seat limit ensures the entry of various interest-representations into the legislature.-Sec. but with the very essence of “representation”.. all government authority emanates from the people. VI of consti is not mandatory. and De Leon Jr. Formula for determining additional seats for the first party: No. 5(2) Art. Yes.. Pardo. Melo. the elected persons must have the mandate of a sufficient number of people.. Gonzaga-Reyes. Bellosillo. (6% . Purisima. Determine the percentage of their respective votes as against the total number of votes cast for the party-list system. Buena. Since distribution is based on proportional representation.. J. This is consistent not only with the intent of the framers of the Constitution and the law. thus no single group.. C. dissents.J. In imposing a 2% threshold.. in the result. J. . would dominate the party-list seats. join the opinion of J. 11(b) of RA 7941. Davide. Method of allocating seats Step one: i. JJ.. Under a republican or representative state. there will be no additional seats for the other parties as well (multiplier will be 0). Congress wanted to ensure that only those parties having a sufficient number of constituents deserving of representation are actually represented in Congress. of votes of first party =proportion of votes of first party relative to total votes for party-list Total votes for party-list system If proportion is equal to at least 6 % of the total votes cast for party-list. JJ. the number of seats allotted to the other parties cannot possibly exceed that to which the first party is entitled to by virtue of its obtaining the most number of votes. orgs and coalitions according to the votes they obtained ii. But to have meaningful representation. in order to compute for the other parties. Rank all the participating parties. see separate concurring opinion. if the first party is not entitled to any additional seat. no matter how large its membership. but is exercised by representatives chosen by them. concur. All those that garnered at least 2% have an assured seat in HR.assigned by court as benchmark to prevent allotment of more than the total number of available seats) Formula for Additional seats of other qualified parties: Additional seats = No. Congress was vested with the broad power to define and prescribe the mechanics of the party-list system of representation. Only these parties shall be considered in the computation of additional seats. Kapunan. The prerogative to determine whether to adjust or change this percentage requirement rests in Congress. Hence. if not the entire House. Epilogue (Disposition) Petitions partially granted—COMELEC resolution set aside and nullified but additional seats for each cannot be granted because it will violate the proportional representation mandate by Sec. 2. and Vitug. of votes of the first party Thus. Puno. Step two: i. JJ. the formula for first party is different. and Quisumbing.

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