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BANAT vs.

COMELEC , GR 17927 [ April 21, 2009 ]


Facts: Barangay Association for National Advancement and Transparency (BANAT) filed before the Commission on Elections (COME EC) a petition to proclaim the f!ll n!mber of party list representatives provided by the Constit!tion" #o$ever% the recommendation of the head of the legal gro!p of COME EC&s national board of canvassers to declare the petition moot and academic $as approved by the COME EC en banc% and declared f!rther in a resol!tion that the $inning party list $ill be resolved !sing the 'eterans r!ling" BANAT then filed a petition before the (C assailing said resol!tion of the COME EC" ss!"s: ()) *s the +,- allocation for party.list representatives provided in (ec / (+)% Art '* of the Constit!tion mandatory or is it merely a ceiling0 (+) *s the +- threshold and 12!alifier3 votes prescribed by the same (ec )) (b) of 4A 567) constit!tional0 (8) 9oes the Constit!tion prohibit ma:or political parties from participating in the party.list elections0 *f not% can ma:or political parties participate in the party.list elections0 #"l$: ()) Neither the Constit!tion nor 4A 567) mandates the filling !p of the entire +,- allocation of party. list representatives fo!nd in the Constit!tion" The Constit!tion% in paragraph )% (ec / of Art '*% left the determination of the n!mber of the members of the #o!se of 4epresentatives to Congress" The +,allocation of party.list representatives is merely a ceiling; party.list representatives cannot be more then +,- of the members of the #o!se of 4epresentatives" (+) No" <e r!le that% in comp!ting the allocation of additional seats% the contin!ed operation of the t$o percent threshold for the distrib!tion of the additional seats as fo!nd in the second cla!se of (ec ))(b) of 4A 567) is !nconstit!tional" This Co!rt finds that the t$o percent threshold ma=es it mathematically impossible to achieve the ma>im!m n!mber of available party.list seats $hen the available party.list seat e>ceeds /," The contin!ed operation of the t$o percent threshold in the distrib!tion of the additional seats fr!strates the attainment of the permissive ceiling that +,- of the members of the #o!se of 4epresentatives shall consist of party.list representatives"<e therefore stri=e do$n the t$o percent threshold only in relation to the distrib!tion of the additional seats as fo!nd in the second cla!se of (ec )) (b) of 4A 567)" The t$o percent threshold presents an !n$arranted obstacle to the f!ll implementation of (ec / (+)% Art '* of the Constit!tion and prevents the attainment of 1the.broadest possible representation of party% sectoral or gro!p interests in the #o!se of 4epresentatives"3 (8) No" Neither the Constit!tion nor 4A 567) prohibits ma:or political parties from participating in the party.list system" On the contrary% the framers of the Constit!tion clearly intended the ma:or political parties to participate in party.list elections thro!gh their sectoral $ings" #o$ever% by vote of ?.5% the Co!rt decided to contin!e the r!ling in 'eterans disallo$ing ma:or political parties from participating in the party.list elections% directly or indirectly"