You are on page 1of 3

BARANGAY ASSOCIATION FOR NATIONAL ADVANCEMENT AND TRANSPARENCY (BANAT) VS COMELEC GR 179271 APRIL 21, 2009

NOTE: This case is consolidated with BAYAN Muna vs COMELEC (G.R. No. 179295). The 14 May 2007 elections included the elections for the party-list representatives. The COMELEC counted 15,950,900 votes cast for 93 parties under the Party-List System. On 27 June 2002, BANAT filed a Petition to Proclaim the Full Number of Party-List Representatives Provided by the Constitution. COMELEC, however, is duty bound to and shall implement the Veterans ruling. The formula in Veterans vs COMELEC is as follows: (Each party is of course entitled to one seat) Number of votes of first party ----------Total votes for party-list system Proportion of votes of first = party relative to total votes for party-list system

Wherein the proportion of votes received by the first party (without rounding off) shall entitle it to additional seats: (This is only to determine representation for the top ranking party)

Equal to or at least 6% Equal to or greater than 4% but less than 6% Less than 4%

Two (2) additional seats One (1) additional seat No additional seat

Now, to determine the representation of the other qualified party;

No. of votes of concerned party Additional seats for = a concerned party first party No. of additional No. of votes of x seats allocated to first party

For a party list to qualify for a seat, it must obtain at least 2% of the total number of votes for the party list system (the two-percenters) pursuant to RA 7941. An additional seat must be based on the above formulas. In short, for every 2% the highest ranking party will get an extra seat in Congress. However, the additional seat for the other two-percenters (second in rank and the rest) would be determined in proportion to the number of votes of the first party. The dilemma comes in implementing the mandate of the constitution. Constitution provides that there should be 250 Congressmen, unless otherwise fixed by law. 20% or 50 (fifty Congressmen) of which shall come from party list representation. However, in the 14th Congress, there are already 220 district reps and that if 20% of which is 55. So there should be 55 reps from the party list system. But the full implementation of such can not be obtained under the Veterans formula and RA 7914. HELD: SC ruled that, in computing the allocation of additional seats, the continued operation of the two percent threshold for the distribution of the additional seats as found in the second clause of Section 11(b) of R.A. No. 7941 is unconstitutional. This Court finds that the two percent threshold makes it mathematically impossible to achieve the maximum number of available party list seats when the number of available party list seats exceeds 50. The continued operation of the two percent threshold in the distribution of the additional seats frustrates the attainment of the permissive ceiling that 20% of the members of the House of Representatives shall consist of party-list representatives. There are 55 available party-list seats. Suppose there are 50 million votes cast for the 100 participants in the party list elections. A party that has two percent of the votes cast, or one million votes, gets a guaranteed seat. Let us further assume that the first 50 parties all get one million votes. Only 50 parties get a seat despite the availability of 55 seats. Because of the operation of the two percent threshold, this situation will repeat itself even if we increase the available party-list seats to 60 seats and even if we increase the votes cast to 100 million. Thus, even if the maximum number of parties get two percent of the votes for every party, it is always impossible for the number of occupied party-list seats to exceed 50 seats as long as the two percent threshold is present. Hence, 1. Each two percenter is guaranteed a seat. In the case at bar, there were 17 two percenters. (there are 55 seats so there is still 38 seats to be filled out) 2. Their additional seat will not include the guaranteed seat 3. Each partys total vote shall be divided over the total number of votes for the party list system. 4. To determine their additional allocation, the percentage of their vote (partys vote total no. of votes for the party list system) must be multiplied by the remaining seats (55-17=38) 5. Round off figures to the nearest higher figure hence 1.01 = 2 6. This way the allocated 55 seats for party list representation will be properly filled out as mandated. In computing the additional seats, the guaranteed seats shall no longer be included because they have already been allocated, atone seat each, to every two-percenter. Thus, the remaining available seats for allocation as additional seats are the maximum seats reserved

under the Party List System less the guaranteed seats. Fractional seats are disregarded in the absence of a provision in R.A. No. 7941 allowing for a rounding off of fractional seats. Is the 20% Ceiling mandatory? Yes, as Section 5, Article VI of the Constitution provides: Section 5. (1) The House of Representatives shall be composed of not more than two hundred and fifty members, unless otherwise fixed by law, who shall be elected from legislative districts apportioned among the provinces, cities, and the Metropolitan Manila area in accordance with the number of their respective inhabitants, and on the basis of a uniform and progressive ratio, and those who, as provided by law, shall be elected through a party-list system of registered national, regional, and sectoral parties or organizations.