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EN BANC

BARANGAY ASSOCIATION FOR


NATIONAL ADVANCEMENT
AND TRANSPARENCY (BANAT),

G.R. No. 179271

Petitioner,
- versus COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS
(sitting as the National Board of
Canvassers),
Respondent.
ARTS BUSINESS AND SCIENCE
PROFESSIONALS,
Intervenor.
AANGAT TAYO,
Intervenor.
COALITION OF ASSOCIATIONS
OF SENIOR CITIZENS IN THE
PHILIPPINES, INC. (SENIOR
CITIZENS),
Intervenor.
x- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - x
BAYAN MUNA, ADVOCACY FOR
TEACHER EMPOWERMENT
THROUGH ACTION, COOPERATION
AND HARMONY TOWARDS
EDUCATIONAL REFORMS, INC.,
and ABONO,
Petitioners,

- versus -

G.R. No. 179295


Present:
PUNO, C.J.,
QUISUMBING,
YNARES-SANTIAGO,
CARPIO,
AUSTRIA-MARTINEZ,
CORONA,
CARPIO MORALES,
TINGA,
CHICO-NAZARIO,
VELASCO, JR.,

NACHURA,
LEONARDO-DE CASTRO,
BRION,
PERALTA, and
BERSAMIN, JJ.

COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS,
Respondent.

Promulgated:
_______________________

x---------------------------------------------------x

DECISION
CARPIO, J.:
The Case
Petitioner in G.R. No. 179271 Barangay Association for National
Advancement and Transparency (BANAT) in a petition for certiorari and
mandamus,[1] assails the Resolution[2] promulgated on 3 August 2007 by the
Commission on Elections (COMELEC) in NBC No. 07-041 (PL). The
COMELECs resolution in NBC No. 07-041 (PL) approved the recommendation of
Atty. Alioden D. Dalaig, Head of the National Board of Canvassers (NBC) Legal
Group, to deny the petition of BANAT for being moot. BANAT filed before the
COMELEC En Banc, acting as NBC, a Petition to Proclaim the Full Number of
Party-List Representatives Provided by the Constitution.
The following are intervenors in G.R. No. 179271: Arts Business and
Science Professionals (ABS), AangatTayo (AT), and Coalition of Associations of
Senior Citizens in the Philippines, Inc. (Senior Citizens).

Petitioners in G.R. No. 179295 Bayan Muna, Abono, and Advocacy for
Teacher Empowerment Through Action, Cooperation and Harmony Towards
Educational Reforms (A Teacher) in a petition for certiorari with mandamus and
prohibition,[3] assails NBC Resolution No. 07-60[4] promulgated on 9 July
2007. NBC No. 07-60 made a partial proclamation of parties, organizations and
coalitions that obtained at least two percent of the total votes cast under the PartyList System. The COMELEC announced that, upon completion of the canvass of
the party-list results, it would determine the total number of seats of each winning
party, organization, or coalition in accordance with Veterans Federation Party v.
COMELEC[5] (Veterans).
Estrella DL Santos, in her capacity as President and First Nominee of the
Veterans Freedom Party, filed a motion to intervene in both G.R. Nos. 179271 and
179295.
The Facts
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.[6]
On 27 June 2002, BANAT filed a Petition to Proclaim the Full Number of
Party-List Representatives Provided by the Constitution, docketed as NBC No. 07041 (PL) before the NBC. BANAT filed its petition because [t]he Chairman and
the Members of the [COMELEC] have recently been quoted in the national papers
that the [COMELEC] is duty bound to and shall implement the Veterans ruling,
that is, would apply the Panganiban formula in allocating party-list seats. [7] There
were no intervenors in BANATs petition before the NBC. BANAT filed a
memorandum on 19 July 2007.
On 9 July 2007, the COMELEC, sitting as the NBC, promulgated NBC
Resolution No. 07-60. NBC Resolution No. 07-60 proclaimed thirteen (13) parties
as winners in the party-list elections, namely: BuhayHayaanYumabong (BUHAY),
Bayan Muna, Citizens Battle Against Corruption (CIBAC), Gabrielas Women
Party (Gabriela), Association of Philippine Electric Cooperatives (APEC), A
Teacher, Akbayan! Citizens Action Party (AKBAYAN), Alagad, Luzon Farmers
Party (BUTIL), Cooperative-Natco Network Party (COOP-NATCCO), AnakPawis,

Alliance of Rural Concerns (ARC), and Abono. We quote NBC Resolution No.
07-60 in its entirety below:
WHEREAS, the Commission on Elections sitting en banc as National
Board of Canvassers, thru its Sub-Committee for Party-List, as of 03 July 2007,
had officially canvassed, in open and public proceedings, a total of fifteen million
two hundred eighty three thousand six hundred fifty-nine (15,283,659) votes
under the Party-List System of Representation, in connection with the National
and Local Elections conducted last 14 May 2007;
WHEREAS, the study conducted by the Legal and Tabulation Groups of
the National Board of Canvassers reveals that the projected/maximum total partylist votes cannot go any higher thansixteen million seven hundred twenty three
thousand one hundred twenty-one (16,723,121) votes given the following
statistical data:
Projected/Maximum Party-List Votes for May 2007 Elections
i. Total party-list votes already canvassed/tabulated

15,283,659

ii. Total party-list votes remaining uncanvassed/


untabulated (i.e. canvass deferred)

1,337,032

iii. Maximum party-list votes (based on 100%


outcome) from areas not yet submitted for canvass
(Bogo, Cebu; Bais City; Pantar, Lanao del Norte; and
Pagalungan, Maguindanao)

102,430

Maximum Total Party-List Votes

16,723,121

WHEREAS, Section 11 of Republic Act No. 7941 (Party-List System Act)


provides in part:
The parties, organizations, and coalitions receiving at least
two percent (2%) of the total votes cast for the party-list system
shall be entitled to one seat each: provided, that those garnering
more than two percent (2%) of the votes shall be entitled to
additional seats in proportion to their total number of votes:
provided, finally, that each party, organization, or coalition shall be
entitled to not more than three (3) seats.
WHEREAS, for the 2007 Elections, based on the above projected total of
party-list votes, the presumptive two percent (2%) threshold can be pegged
at three hundred thirty four thousand four hundred sixty-two (334,462) votes;

WHEREAS, the Supreme Court, in Citizens Battle Against Corruption


(CIBAC) versus COMELEC, reiterated its ruling in Veterans Federation Party
versus COMELEC adopting a formula for the additional seats of each party,
organization or coalition receving more than the required two percent (2%) votes,
stating that the same shall be determined only after all party-list ballots have been
completely canvassed;
WHEREAS, the parties, organizations, and coalitions that have thus far
garnered at least three hundred thirty four thousand four hundred sixty-two
(334,462) votes are as follows:
RANK

PARTY/ORGANIZATION/
COALITION

VOTES
RECEIVED

BUHAY

1,163,218

BAYAN MUNA

972,730

CIBAC

760,260

GABRIELA

610,451

APEC

538,971

A TEACHER

476,036

AKBAYAN

470,872

ALAGAD

423,076

BUTIL

405,052

10

COOP-NATCO

390,029

11

BATAS

386,361

12

ANAK PAWIS

376,036

13

ARC

338,194

14

ABONO

337,046

WHEREAS,
except
for
BagongAlyansangTagapagtaguyodngAdhikaingSambayanan (BATAS), against
which an URGENT PETITION FOR CANCELLATION/REMOVAL OF
REGISTRATION AND DISQUALIFICATION OF PARTY-LIST NOMINEE (With
Prayer for the Issuance of Restraining Order) has been filed before the

Commission, docketed as SPC No. 07-250, all the parties, organizations and
coalitions included in the aforementioned list are therefore entitled to at least one
seat under the party-list system of representation in the meantime.
NOW, THEREFORE, by virtue of the powers vested in it by the
Constitution, the Omnibus Election Code, Executive Order No. 144, Republic Act
Nos. 6646, 7166, 7941, and other election laws, the Commission on Elections,
sitting en banc as the National Board of Canvassers, hereby RESOLVES to
PARTIALLY PROCLAIM, subject to certain conditions set forth below, the
following parties, organizations and coalitions participating under the Party-List
System:
1 BuhayHayaanYumabong

BUHAY

2 Bayan Muna

BAYAN MUNA

3 Citizens Battle Against Corruption

CIBAC

4 Gabriela Womens Party


5 Association
Cooperatives

of

Philippine

GABRIELA
Electric

6 Advocacy for Teacher Empowerment


Through Action, Cooperation and Harmony
Towards Educational Reforms, Inc.

APEC
A TEACHER

7 Akbayan! Citizens Action Party

AKBAYAN

8 Alagad

ALAGAD

9 Luzon Farmers Party


10 Cooperative-Natco Network Party
11 AnakPawis
12 Alliance of Rural Concerns
13 Abono

BUTIL
COOP-NATCCO
ANAKPAWIS
ARC
ABONO

This is without prejudice to the proclamation of other parties,


organizations, or coalitions which may later on be established to have obtained at
least two percent (2%) of the total actual votes cast under the Party-List System.

The total number of seats of each winning party, organization or coalition


shall be determined pursuant to Veterans Federation Party versus
COMELEC formula upon completion of the canvass of the party-list results.
The
proclamation
of
BagongAlyansangTagapagtaguyodngAdhikaingSambayanan (BATAS) is hereby
deferred until final resolution of SPC No. 07-250, in order not to render the
proceedings therein moot and academic.
Finally, all proclamation of the nominees of concerned parties,
organizations and coalitions with pending disputes shall likewise be held in
abeyance until final resolution of their respective cases.
Let the Clerk of the Commission implement this Resolution, furnishing a
copy thereof to the Speaker of the House of Representatives of the Philippines.
SO ORDERED.[8] (Emphasis in the original)

Pursuant to NBC Resolution No. 07-60, the COMELEC, acting as NBC,


promulgated NBC Resolution No. 07-72, which declared the additional seats
allocated to the appropriate parties. We quote from the COMELECs interpretation
of the Veterans formula as found in NBC Resolution No. 07-72:

WHEREAS, on July 9, 2007, the Commission on Elections sitting en


banc as the National Board of Canvassers proclaimed thirteen (13) qualified
parties, organization[s] and coalitions based on the presumptive two percent (2%)
threshold of 334,462 votes from the projected maximum total number of party-list
votes of 16,723,121, and were thus given one (1) guaranteed party-list seat each;
WHEREAS, per Report of the Tabulation Group and Supervisory
Committee of the National Board of Canvassers, the projected maximum total
party-list votes, as of July 11, 2007, based on the votes actually canvassed, votes
canvassed but not included in Report No. 29, votes received but uncanvassed, and
maximum votes expected for Pantar, Lanao del Norte, is 16,261,369; and that the
projected maximum total votes for the thirteen (13) qualified parties,
organizations and coalition[s] are as follows:
Party-List

Projected total number of votes

BUHAY

1,178,747

BAYAN MUNA

977,476

CIBAC

755,964

GABRIELA

621,718

APEC

622,489

A TEACHER

492,369

AKBAYAN

462,674

ALAGAD

423,190

BUTIL

409,298

10

COOP-NATCO

412,920

11

ANAKPAWIS

370,165

12

ARC

375,846

13

ABONO

340,151

WHEREAS, based on the above Report, BuhayHayaanYumabong (Buhay)


obtained the highest number of votes among the thirteen (13) qualified parties,
organizations and coalitions, making it the first party in accordance
with Veterans Federation Party versus COMELEC, reiterated in Citizens Battle
Against Corruption (CIBAC) versus COMELEC;
WHEREAS, qualified parties, organizations and coalitions participating
under the party-list system of representation that have obtained one guaranteed (1)
seat may be entitled to an additional seat or seats based on the formula prescribed
by the Supreme Court in Veterans;
WHEREAS, in determining the additional seats for the first party, the
correct formula as expressed in Veterans, is:
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:
Proportion of votes received
by the first party
Equal to or at least 6%

Additional seats
Two (2) additional seats

Equal to or greater than 4% but less than 6%

One (1) additional seat

Less than 4%

No additional seat

WHEREAS, applying the above formula, Buhay obtained the following


percentage:
1,178,747
-------16,261,369

= 0.07248 or 7.2%

which entitles it to two (2) additional seats.


WHEREAS, in determining the additional seats for the other qualified
parties, organizations and coalitions, the correct formula as expressed
in Veterans and reiterated in CIBAC is, as follows:

Additional seats for


a concerned party

No. of votes of
concerned party
------------------No. of votes of
first party

No. of additional
seats allocated to
first party

WHEREAS, applying the above formula, the results are as follows:


Party List

Percentage

Additional Seat

BAYAN MUNA

1.65

CIBAC

1.28

GABRIELA

1.05

APEC

1.05

A TEACHER

0.83

AKBAYAN

0.78

ALAGAD

0.71

BUTIL

0.69

COOP-NATCO

0.69

ANAKPAWIS

0.62

ARC

0.63

ABONO

0.57

NOW THEREFORE, by virtue of the powers vested in it by the


Constitution, Omnibus Election Code, Executive Order No. 144, Republic Act
Nos. 6646, 7166, 7941 and other elections laws, the Commission on Elections en
banc sitting as the National Board of Canvassers, hereby RESOLVED, as it
hereby RESOLVES, to proclaim the following parties, organizations or coalitions
as entitled to additional seats, to wit:
Party List

Additional Seats

BUHAY

BAYAN MUNA

CIBAC

GABRIELA

APEC

This is without prejudice to the proclamation of other parties,


organizations or coalitions which may later on be established to have obtained at
least two per cent (2%) of the total votes cast under the party-list system to entitle
them to one (1) guaranteed seat, or to the appropriate percentage of votes to
entitle them to one (1) additional seat.
Finally, all proclamation of the nominees of concerned parties,
organizations and coalitions with pending disputes shall likewise be held in
abeyance until final resolution of their respective cases.
Let the National Board of Canvassers Secretariat implement this
Resolution, furnishing a copy hereof to the Speaker of the House of
Representatives of the Philippines.
SO ORDERED.[9]

Acting on BANATs petition, the NBC promulgated NBC Resolution No.


07-88 on 3 August 2007, which reads as follows:

This pertains to the Petition to Proclaim the Full Number of Party-List


Representatives Provided by the Constitution filed by the Barangay Association
for National Advancement and Transparency (BANAT).
Acting on the foregoing Petition of the Barangay Association for National
Advancement and Transparency (BANAT) party-list, Atty. Alioden D. Dalaig,
Head, National Board of Canvassers Legal Group submitted his
comments/observations and recommendation thereon [NBC 07-041 (PL)], which
reads:
COMMENTS / OBSERVATIONS:
Petitioner Barangay Association for National Advancement and
Transparency (BANAT), in its Petition to Proclaim the Full
Number of Party-List Representatives Provided by the Constitution
prayed for the following reliefs, to wit:
1.
That the full number -- twenty percent (20%) -- of PartyList representatives as mandated by Section 5, Article VI of the
Constitution shall be proclaimed.
2.
Paragraph (b), Section 11 of RA 7941 which prescribes the
2% threshold votes, should be harmonized with Section 5, Article
VI of the Constitution and with Section 12 of the same RA 7941 in
that it should be applicable only to the first party-list representative
seats to be allotted on the basis of their initial/first ranking.
3.
and

The 3-seat limit prescribed by RA 7941 shall be applied;

4.
Initially, all party-list groups shall be given the number of
seats corresponding to every 2% of the votes they received and the
additional seats shall be allocated in accordance with Section 12 of
RA 7941, that is, in proportion to the percentage of votes obtained
by each party-list group in relation to the total nationwide votes
cast in the party-list election, after deducting the corresponding
votes of those which were allotted seats under the 2% threshold
rule. In fine, the formula/procedure prescribed in the
ALLOCATION OF PARTY-LIST SEATS, ANNEX A of
COMELEC RESOLUTION 2847 dated 25 June 1996, shall be
used for [the] purpose of determining how many seats shall be
proclaimed, which party-list groups are entitled to representative
seats and how many of their nominees shall seat [sic].

5.
In the alternative, to declare as unconstitutional Section 11
of Republic Act No. 7941 and that the procedure in allocating seats
for party-list representative prescribed by Section 12 of RA 7941
shall be followed.
RECOMMENDATION:
The petition of BANAT is now moot and academic.
The Commission En Banc in NBC Resolution
No. 07-60
promulgated July 9, 2007 re In the Matter of the Canvass of Votes
and Partial Proclamation of the Parties, Organizations and
Coalitions Participating Under the Party-List System During the
May 14, 2007 National and Local Elections resolved among
others that the total number of seats of each winning party,
organization or coalition shall be determined pursuant to
the Veterans Federation Party versus COMELEC formula upon
completion of the canvass of the party-list results.
WHEREFORE, premises considered, the National Board of Canvassers
RESOLVED, as it hereby RESOLVES, to approve and adopt the recommendation
of Atty. Alioden D. Dalaig, Head, NBC Legal Group, to DENY the herein petition
of BANAT for being moot and academic.
Let the Supervisory Committee implement this resolution.
SO ORDERED.[10]

BANAT filed a petition for certiorari and mandamus assailing the ruling in
NBC Resolution No. 07-88. BANAT did not file a motion for reconsideration of
NBC Resolution No. 07-88.
On 9 July 2007, Bayan Muna, Abono, and A Teacher asked the COMELEC,
acting as NBC, to reconsider its decision to use the Veterans formula as stated in its
NBC Resolution No. 07-60 because the Veterans formula is violative of the
Constitution and of Republic Act No. 7941 (R.A. No. 7941). On the same day, the
COMELEC denied reconsideration during the proceedings of the NBC.[11]
Aside from the thirteen party-list organizations proclaimed on 9 July 2007,
the COMELEC proclaimed three other party-list organizations as qualified parties
entitled to one guaranteed seat under the Party-List System: Agricultural Sector

Alliance of the Philippines, Inc. (AGAP),[12] Anak Mindanao (AMIN),[13] and An


Waray.[14] Per the certification[15] by COMELEC, the following party-list
organizations have been proclaimed as of 19 May 2008:
Party-List

No. of Seat(s)

1.1

Buhay

1.2

Bayan Muna

1.3

CIBAC

1.4

Gabriela

1.5

APEC

1.6

A Teacher

1.7

Akbayan

1.8

Alagad

1.9

Butil

1.10

Coop-Natco [sic]

1.11

AnakPawis

1.12

ARC

1.13

Abono

1.14

AGAP

1.15

AMIN

The proclamation of BagongAlyansangTagapagtaguyodngAdhikaingSambayanan


(BATAS), against which an Urgent Petition for Cancellation/Removal of
Registration and Disqualification of Party-list Nominee (with Prayer for the
Issuance of Restraining Order) has been filed before the COMELEC, was deferred
pending final resolution of SPC
No. 07-250.
Issues
BANAT brought the following issues before this Court:

1.
Is
the
twenty
percent
allocation
for
party-list
representatives
provided in Section 5(2), Article VI of the Constitution
mandatory or is it merely a ceiling?
2.
7941

Is

the three-seat
constitutional?

limit

provided

in

Section

11(b)

of

RA

3.
the

Is the two percent threshold and qualifier votes prescribed by


same Section 11(b) of RA 7941 constitutional?

4.

How shall the party-list representatives be allocated?[16]

Bayan Muna, A Teacher, and Abono, on the other hand, raised the following
issues in their petition:
I.
Respondent Commission on Elections, acting as National Board
of Canvassers, committed grave abuse of discretion amounting to
lack or
excess of jurisdiction when it promulgated NBC Resolution
No. 07-60 to
implement the First-Party Rule in the allocation of
seats to qualified party-list
organizations as said rule:
A.
proportional
B.

Violates

principle

of

Violates the provisions of RA 7941 particularly:


1.

The 2-4-6 Formula used by the First Party Rule


allocating
additional
seats
for
the
First
violates
the
principle
of
proportional
under RA 7941.

2.

The use of two formulas in the allocation


additional seats, one for the First Party
another
for
the
qualifying
parties,
violates
11(b) of RA 7941.

3.

The proportional relationships under the First


Rule are different from those required under
7941;

in
Party
representation
of
and
Section
Party
RA

the
constitutional
representation.

C.
Violates
the
Four
Inviolable
Parameters
of
the
Philippine
party-list system as provided for under the same case
of
Veterans Federation Party, et al. v. COMELEC.

II.
Presuming that the Commission on Elections did not commit
grave
abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of
jurisdiction when it implemented the First-Party Rule in the allocation of
seats
to qualified party-list organizations, the same being merely
in
consonance with the ruling in Veterans Federations Party, et al.
v.
COMELEC, the instant Petition is a justiciable case as the
issues involved herein are constitutional in nature, involving the
correct
interpretation and implementation of RA 7941, and are
of transcendental importance to our nation.[17]

Considering the allegations in the petitions and the comments of the parties
in these cases, we defined the following issues in our advisory for the oral
arguments set on 22 April 2008:
1.
in
a

Is the twenty percent allocation for party-list representatives


Section 5(2), Article VI of the Constitution mandatory or merely
ceiling?

2.

Is the three-seat limit in Section 11(b) of RA 7941 constitutional?

3.
Is the two percent threshold prescribed in Section 11(b) of RA
qualify for one seat constitutional?
4.

7941 to

How shall the party-list representative seats be allocated?

5.
Does the Constitution prohibit the major political parties
from
participating in the party-list elections? If not, can the major political
parties be barred from participating in the party-list
elections?[18]

The Ruling of the Court


The petitions have partial merit. We maintain that a Philippine-style partylist election has at least four inviolable parameters as clearly stated
in Veterans. For easy reference, these are:
First, the twenty percent allocation the combined number of all partylist congressmen shall not exceed twenty percent of the total membership of the
House of Representatives, including those elected under the party list;
Second, the two percent threshold only those parties garnering a
minimum of two percent of the total valid votes cast for the party-list system are
qualified to have a seat in the House of Representatives;

Third, the three-seat limit each qualified party, regardless of the number
of votes it actually obtained, is entitled to a maximum of three seats; that is, one
qualifying and two additional seats;
Fourth, proportional representation the additional seats which a
qualified party is entitled to shall be computed in proportion to their total number
of votes.[19]

However, because the formula in Veterans has flaws in its mathematical


interpretation of the term proportional representation, this Court is compelled to
revisit the formula for the allocation of additional seats to party-list organizations.
Number of Party-List Representatives:
The Formula Mandated by the Constitution

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.
(2) The party-list representatives shall constitute twenty per centum of the
total number of representatives including those under the party-list. For three
consecutive terms after the ratification of this Constitution, one-half of the seats
allocated to party-list representatives shall be filled, as provided by law, by
selection or election from the labor, peasant, urban poor, indigenous cultural
communities, women, youth, and such other sectors as may be provided by law,
except the religious sector.

The first paragraph of Section 11 of R.A. No. 7941 reads:


Section 11. Number of Party-List Representatives. The party-list
representatives shall constitute twenty per centum (20%) of the total number of
the members of the House of Representatives including those under the party-list.
x xx

Section 5(1), Article VI of the Constitution states that the House of


Representatives shall be composed of not more than two hundred and fifty
members, unless otherwise fixed by law. The House of Representatives shall be
composed of district representatives and party-list representatives. The
Constitution allows the legislature to modify the number of the members of the
House of Representatives.
Section 5(2), Article VI of the Constitution, on the other hand, states the ratio
of party-list representatives to the total number of representatives. We compute
the number of seats available to party-list representatives from the number of
legislative districts. On this point, we do not deviate from the first formula
in Veterans, thus:
Number of seats available
to legislative districts

x .20 =

Number of seats available to


party-list representatives

.80

This formula allows for the corresponding increase in the number of seats available
for party-list representatives whenever a legislative district is created by law. Since
the 14thCongress of the Philippines has 220 district representatives, there are 55
seats available to party-list representatives.
220

x .20 =

55

.80

After prescribing the ratio of the number of party-list representatives to the


total number of representatives, the Constitution left the manner of allocating
the seats available to party-list representatives to the wisdom of the
legislature.
Allocation of Seats for Party-List Representatives:
The Statutory Limits Presented by the Two Percent Threshold

and the Three-Seat Cap

All parties agree on the formula to determine the maximum number of seats
reserved under the Party-List System, as well as on the formula to determine the
guaranteed seats to party-list candidates garnering at least two-percent of the total
party-list votes. However, there are numerous interpretations of the provisions of
R.A. No. 7941 on the allocation of additional seats under the Party-List
System. Veterans produced the First Party Rule,[20] and Justice Vicente V.
Mendozas dissent in Veterans presented Germanys Niemeyer formula[21] as an
alternative.
The Constitution left to Congress the determination of the manner
of allocating the seats for party-list representatives. Congress enacted R.A. No.
7941, paragraphs (a) and (b) of Section 11 and Section 12 of which provide:
Section 11. Number of Party-List Representatives. x xx
In determining the allocation of seats for the second vote, [22] the following
procedure shall be observed:
(a)
The parties, organizations, and coalitions shall be ranked from the highest
to the lowest based on the number of votes they garnered during the elections.
(b)
The parties, organizations, and coalitions receiving at least two percent
(2%) of the total votes cast for the party-list system shall be entitled to one seat
each: Provided, That those garnering more than two percent (2%) of the
votes shall be entitled to additional seats in proportion to their total number
of votes: Provided, finally, That each party, organization, or coalition shall be
entitled to not more than three (3) seats.
Section 12. Procedure in Allocating Seats for Party-List
Representatives. The COMELEC shall tally all the votes for the parties,
organizations, or coalitions on a nationwide basis, rank them according to the
number of votes received and allocate party-list representatives proportionately
according to the percentage of votes obtained by each party, organization, or
coalition as against the total nationwide votes cast for the party-list system.
(Emphasis supplied)

In G.R. No. 179271, BANAT presents two interpretations through three


formulas to allocate party-list representative seats.
The first interpretation allegedly harmonizes the provisions of Section 11(b)
on the 2% requirement with Section 12 of R.A. No. 7941. BANAT described this
procedure as follows:
(a)
The party-list representatives shall constitute twenty percent (20%) of the
total Members of the House of Representatives including those from the party-list
groups as prescribed by Section 5, Article VI of the Constitution, Section 11
(1st par.) of RA 7941 and Comelec Resolution No. 2847 dated 25 June
1996. Since there are 220 District Representatives in the 14th Congress, there
shall be 55 Party-List Representatives. All seats shall have to be proclaimed.
(b)
All party-list groups shall initially be allotted one (1) seat for every two
per centum (2%) of the total party-list votes they obtained; provided, that no
party-list groups shall have more than three (3) seats (Section 11, RA 7941).
(c)
The remaining seats shall, after deducting the seats obtained by the partylist groups under the immediately preceding paragraph and after deducting from
their total the votes corresponding to those seats, the remaining seats shall be
allotted proportionately to all the party-list groups which have not secured the
maximum three (3) seats under the 2% threshold rule, in accordance with Section
12 of RA 7941.[23]

Forty-four (44) party-list seats will be awarded under BANATs first interpretation.
The second interpretation presented by BANAT assumes that the 2% vote
requirement is declared unconstitutional, and apportions the seats for party-list
representatives by following Section 12 of R.A. No. 7941. BANAT states that the
COMELEC:
(a)
shall tally all the votes for the parties, organizations, or coalitions on a
nationwide basis;
(b)
rank them according to the number of votes received; and,
(c)
allocate party-list representatives proportionately according to
the percentage of votes obtained by each party, organization or
coalition as
against the total nationwide votes cast for the party-list system.[24]

BANAT used two formulas to obtain the same results: one is based on the
proportional percentage of the votes received by each party as against the total
nationwide party-list votes, and the other is by making the votes of a party-list
with a median percentage of votes as the divisor in computing the allocation of
seats.[25] Thirty-four (34) party-list seats will be awarded under BANATs second
interpretation.
In G.R. No. 179295, Bayan Muna, Abono, and A Teacher criticize both the
COMELECs original 2-4-6 formula and the Veterans formula for systematically
preventing all the party-list seats from being filled up. They claim that both
formulas do not factor in the total number of seats alloted for the entire Party-List
System. Bayan Muna, Abono, and A Teacher reject the three-seat cap, but accept
the 2% threshold. After determining the qualified parties, a second percentage is
generated by dividing the votes of a qualified party by the total votes of all
qualified parties only. The number of seats allocated to a qualified party is
computed by multiplying the total party-list seats available with the second
percentage. There will be a first round of seat allocation, limited to using the
whole integers as the equivalent of the number of seats allocated to the concerned
party-list. After all the qualified parties are given their seats, a second round of
seat allocation is conducted. The fractions, or remainders, from the whole integers
are ranked from highest to lowest and the remaining seats on the basis of this
ranking are allocated until all the seats are filled up.[26]
We examine what R.A. No. 7941 prescribes to allocate seats for party-list
representatives.
Section 11(a) of R.A. No. 7941 prescribes the ranking of the participating
parties from the highest to the lowest based on the number of votes they garnered
during the elections.

Table 1. Ranking of the participating parties from the highest to the lowest based
on the number of votes garnered during the elections.[27]

Rank

Party

Votes
Rank
Garnered

1 BUHAY

1,169,234

2 BAYAN
MUNA

Party

Votes
Garnered

48 KALAHI

88,868

979,039

49 APOI

79,386

3 CIBAC

755,686

50 BP

78,541

4 GABRIELA

621,171

51 AHONBAYAN

78,424

5 APEC

619,657

52 BIGKIS

77,327

6 A TEACHER

490,379

53 PMAP

75,200

7 AKBAYAN

466,112

54 AKAPIN

74,686

8 ALAGAD

423,149

55 PBA

71,544

9 COOPNATCCO

409,883

56 GRECON

62,220

10 BUTIL

409,160

57 BTM

60,993

11 BATAS

385,810

58 A SMILE

58,717

12 ARC

374,288

59 NELFFI

57,872

13 ANAKPAWIS

370,261

60 AKSA

57,012

14 ABONO

339,990

61 BAGO

55,846

15 AMIN

338,185

62 BANDILA

54,751

16 AGAP

328,724

63 AHON

54,522

17 AN WARAY

321,503

64 ASAHAN MO

51,722

18 YACAP

310,889

65 AGBIAG!

50,837

19 FPJPM

300,923

66 SPI

50,478

20 UNI-MAD

245,382

67 BAHANDI

46,612

21 ABS

235,086

68 ADD

45,624

22 KAKUSA

228,999

69 AMANG

43,062

23 KABATAAN

228,637

70 ABAY PARAK

42,282

24 ABA-AKO

218,818

71 BABAE KA

36,512

25 ALIF

217,822

72 SB

34,835

26 SENIOR
CITIZENS

213,058

73 ASAP

34,098

27 AT

197,872

74 PEP

33,938

28 VFP

196,266

75 ABA
ILONGGO

33,903

29 ANAD

188,521

76 VENDORS

33,691

30 BANAT

177,028

77 ADD-TRIBAL

32,896

31 ANG
KASANGGA

170,531

78 ALMANA

32,255

32 BANTAY

169,801

79 AANGAT KA
PILIPINO

29,130

33 ABAKADA

166,747

80 AAPS

26,271

34 1-UTAK

164,980

81 HAPI

25,781

35 TUCP

162,647

82 AAWAS

22,946

36 COCOFED

155,920

83 SM

20,744

37 AGHAM

146,032

84 AG

16,916

38 ANAK

141,817

85 AGING PINOY

16,729

39 ABANSE!
PINAY

130,356

86 APO

16,421

40 PM

119,054

87 BIYAYANG
BUKID

16,241

41 AVE

110,769

88 ATS

14,161

42 SUARA

110,732

89 UMDJ

9,445

43 ASSALAM

110,440

90 BUKLOD
FILIPINA

8,915

44 DIWA

107,021

91 LYPAD

8,471

45 ANC

99,636

92 AA-KASOSYO

8,406

46 SANLAKAS

97,375

93 KASAPI

6,221

47 ABC

90,058

TOTAL

15,950,900

The first clause of Section 11(b) of R.A. No. 7941 states that parties,
organizations, and coalitions receiving at least two percent (2%) of the total votes
cast for the party-list system shall be entitled to one seat each. This clause
guarantees a seat to the two-percenters. In Table 2 below, we use the first 20 partylist candidates for illustration purposes. The percentage of votes garnered by each
party is arrived at by dividing the number of votes garnered by each party by
15,950,900, the total number of votes cast for all party-list candidates.
Table 2. The first 20 party-list candidates and their respective percentage of
votes garnered over the total votes for the party-list.[28]

Rank

Party

1 BUHAY

Votes Garnered
Votes
over Total Votes Guaranteed
Garnered for Party-List,
Seat
in %
1,169,234

7.33%

2 BAYAN MUNA

979,039

6.14%

3 CIBAC

755,686

4.74%

4 GABRIELA

621,171

3.89%

5 APEC

619,657

3.88%

6 A TEACHER

490,379

3.07%

7 AKBAYAN

466,112

2.92%

8 ALAGAD

423,149

2.65%

9 COOP-NATCCO

409,883

2.57%

10 BUTIL

409,160

2.57%

11 BATAS[29]

385,810

2.42%

12 ARC

374,288

2.35%

13 ANAKPAWIS

370,261

2.32%

14 ABONO

339,990

2.13%

15 AMIN

338,185

2.12%

16 AGAP

328,724

2.06%

17 AN WARAY

321,503

2.02%

Total

17

18 YACAP

310,889

1.95%

19 FPJPM

300,923

1.89%

20 UNI-MAD

245,382

1.54%

From Table 2 above, we see that only 17 party-list candidates received at


least 2% from the total number of votes cast for party-list candidates. The 17
qualified party-list candidates, or the two-percenters, are the party-list candidates
that are entitled to one seat each, or the guaranteed seat. In this first round of
seat allocation, we distributed 17 guaranteed seats.
The second clause of Section 11(b) of R.A. No. 7941 provides that those
garnering more than two percent (2%) of the votes shall be entitled to additional
seats in proportion to their total number of votes. This is where petitioners
and intervenors problem with the formula in Veterans lies. Veterans interprets the
clause in proportion to their total number of votes to be in proportion to the
votes of the first party. This interpretation is contrary to the express language of
R.A. No. 7941.
We rule 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.
To illustrate: 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.
We therefore strike down the two percent threshold only in relation to the
distribution of the additional seats as found in the second clause of Section 11(b) of
R.A. No. 7941. The two percent threshold presents an unwarranted obstacle to the
full implementation of Section 5(2), Article VI of the Constitution and prevents the
attainment of the broadest possible representation of party, sectoral or group
interests in the House of Representatives.[30]
In determining the allocation of seats for party-list representatives under
Section 11 of R.A. No. 7941, the following procedure shall be observed:
1.
The parties, organizations, and coalitions shall be ranked from the highest
to the lowest based on the number of votes they garnered during the elections.
2.
The parties, organizations, and coalitions receiving at least two percent
(2%) of the total votes cast for the party-list system shall be entitled to one
guaranteed seat each.
3.
Those garnering sufficient number of votes, according to the ranking in
paragraph 1, shall be entitled to additional seats in proportion to their total number
of votes until all the additional seats are allocated.

4.
Each party, organization, or coalition shall be entitled to not more than three
(3) seats.
In computing the additional seats, the guaranteed seats shall no longer be
included because they have already been allocated, at one seat each, to every twopercenter. 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.
In declaring the two percent threshold unconstitutional, we do not limit our
allocation of additional seats in Table 3 below to the two-percenters. The
percentage of votes garnered by each party-list candidate is arrived at by dividing
the number of votes garnered by each party by 15,950,900, the total number of
votes cast for party-list candidates. There are two steps in the second round of seat
allocation. First, the percentage is multiplied by the remaining available seats, 38,
which is the difference between the 55 maximum seats reserved under the PartyList System and the 17 guaranteed seats of the two-percenters. The whole integer
of the product of the percentage and of the remaining available seats corresponds
to a partys share in the remaining available seats. Second, we assign one party-list
seat to each of the parties next in rank until all available seats are completely
distributed. We distributed all of the remaining 38 seats in the second round of seat
allocation. Finally, we apply the three-seat cap to determine the number of seats
each qualified party-list candidate is entitled. Thus:

Table 3. Distribution of Available Party-List Seats


Rank

Party

Votes

Votes

Garnered Garnere
d over

Guarantee Addition
d Seat

(B)

Applyin

al

plus

g the

Seats

(C), in

three

whole

Total

integer

Votes

for Party

seat
cap

List, in
%

(First

(Second

Round)

(A)

Round)

(B)

(C)

(E)

(D)

BUHAY

1,169,234

7.33%

2.79

N.A.

BAYAN

979,039

6.14%

2.33

N.A.

MUNA
3

CIBAC

755,686

4.74%

1.80

N.A.

GABRIELA

621,171

3.89%

1.48

N.A.

APEC

619,657

3.88%

1.48

N.A.

A Teacher

490,379

3.07%

1.17

N.A.

AKBAYAN

466,112

2.92%

1.11

N.A.

ALAGAD

423,149

2.65%

1.01

N.A.

COOP-

409,883

2.57%

N.A.

9[31]

NATCCO
10

BUTIL

409,160

2.57%

N.A.

11

BATAS

385,810

2.42%

N.A.

12

ARC

374,288

2.35%

N.A.

13

ANAKPAWI

370,261

2.32%

N.A.

S
14

ABONO

339,990

2.13%

N.A.

15

AMIN

338,185

2.12%

N.A.

16

AGAP

328,724

2.06%

N.A.

17

AN WARAY

321,503

2.02%

N.A.

18

YACAP

310,889

1.95%

N.A.

19

FPJPM

300,923

1.89%

N.A.

20

UNI-MAD

245,382

1.54%

N.A.

21

ABS

235,086

1.47%

N.A.

22

KAKUSA

228,999

1.44%

N.A.

23

KABATAAN

228,637

1.43%

N.A.

24

ABA-AKO

218,818

1.37%

N.A.

25

ALIF

217,822

1.37%

N.A.

26

SENIOR

213,058

1.34%

N.A.

CITIZENS
27

AT

197,872

1.24%

N.A.

28

VFP

196,266

1.23%

N.A.

29

ANAD

188,521

1.18%

N.A.

30

BANAT

177,028

1.11%

N.A.

31

ANG

170,531

1.07%

N.A.

KASANGGA
32

BANTAY

169,801

1.06%

N.A.

33

ABAKADA

166,747

1.05%

N.A.

34

1-UTAK

164,980

1.03%

N.A.

35

TUCP

162,647

1.02%

N.A.

36

COCOFED

155,920

0.98%

N.A.

Total

17

55

Applying the procedure of seat allocation as illustrated in Table 3 above,


there are 55 party-list representatives from the 36 winning party-list
organizations. All 55 available party-list seats are filled. The additional seats

allocated to the parties with sufficient number of votes for one whole seat, in no
case to exceed a total of three seats for each party, are shown in column (D).
Participation of Major Political Parties in Party-List Elections
The Constitutional Commission adopted a multi-party system that allowed
all political parties to participate in the party-list elections. The deliberations
of the Constitutional Commission clearly bear this out, thus:
MR. MONSOD. Madam President, I just want to say that we suggested or
proposed the party list system because we wanted to open up the political system
to a pluralistic society through a multiparty system. x xx We are for opening
up the system, and we would like very much for the sectors to be there. That
is why one of the ways to do that is to put a ceiling on the number of
representatives from any single party that can sit within the 50 allocated
under the party list system. x xx.
x xx
MR. MONSOD. Madam President, the candidacy for the 198 seats is not
limited to political parties. My question is this: Are we going to classify for
example Christian Democrats and Social Democrats as political parties? Can they
run under the party list concept or must they be under the district legislation side
of it only?
MR. VILLACORTA. In reply to that query, I think these parties that the
Commissioner mentioned can field candidates for the Senate as well as for the
House of Representatives. Likewise, they can also field sectoral candidates for
the 20 percent or 30 percent, whichever is adopted, of the seats that we are
allocating under the party list system.
MR. MONSOD. In other words, the Christian Democrats can field district
candidates and can also participate in the party list system?
MR. VILLACORTA. Why not? When they come to the party list
system, they will be fielding only sectoral candidates.
MR. MONSOD. May I be clarified on that? Can UNIDO participate in
the party list system?
MR. VILLACORTA. Yes, why not? For as long as they field
candidates who come from the different marginalized sectors that we shall
designate in this Constitution.

MR. MONSOD. Suppose Senator Taada wants to run under BAYAN


group and says that he represents the farmers, would he qualify?
MR. VILLACORTA. No, Senator Taada would not qualify.
MR. MONSOD. But UNIDO can field candidates under the party list
system and say Juan dela Cruz is a farmer. Who would pass on whether he is a
farmer or not?
MR.
TADEO. Kay
Commissioner
Monsod,
gusto
kolamanglinawinito. Political parties, particularly minority political parties,
are not prohibited to participate in the party list election if they can prove
that they are also organized along sectoral lines.
MR. MONSOD. What the Commissioner is saying is that all political
parties can participate because it is precisely the contention of political parties that
they represent the broad base of citizens and that all sectors are represented in
them. Would the Commissioner agree?
MR. TADEO. Angpuntolamangnamin, pagpinayaganmoang UNIDO
naisang political party, it will dominate the party list at mawawalangsaysay din
yung sector. Lalamuninmismong political partiesang party list system. Gusto
kolamangbigyanngdiinang reserve. Hindi ito reserve seat sa marginalized
sectors. Kung titingnannatinitong 198 seats, reserved din itosa political parties.
MR. MONSOD. Hindi po reserved iyonkasi anybody can run there. But
my question to Commissioner Villacorta and probably also to Commissioner
Tadeo is that under this system, would UNIDO be banned from running under the
party list system?
MR. VILLACORTA. No, as I said, UNIDO may field sectoral
candidates. On that condition alone, UNIDO may be allowed to register for
the party list system.
MR. MONSOD. May I inquire from Commissioner Tadeo if he shares
that answer?
MR. TADEO. The same.
MR. VILLACORTA. Puwedepoang UNIDO, perosasectoral lines.
x xxx
MR. OPLE. x xx In my opinion, this will also create the stimulus for
political parties and mass organizations to seek common ground. For example,
we have the PDP-Laban and the UNIDO. I see no reason why they should not be

able to make common goals with mass organizations so that the very leadership of
these parties can be transformed through the participation of mass
organizations. And if this is true of the administration parties, this will be true of
others like the Partidong Bayan which is now being formed. There is no question
that they will be attractive to many mass organizations. In the opposition parties
to which we belong, there will be a stimulus for us to contact mass organizations
so that with their participation, the policies of such parties can be radically
transformed because this amendment will create conditions that will challenge
both the mass organizations and the political parties to come together. And the
party list system is certainly available, although it is open to all the parties. It is
understood that the parties will enter in the roll of the COMELEC the names of
representatives of mass organizations affiliated with them. So that we may, in
time, develop this excellent system that they have in Europe where labor
organizations and cooperatives, for example, distribute themselves either in the
Social Democratic Party and the Christian Democratic Party in Germany, and
their very presence there has a transforming effect upon the philosophies and the
leadership of those parties.
It is also a fact well known to all that in the United States, the AFL-CIO
always vote with the Democratic Party. But the businessmen, most of them,
always vote with the Republican Party, meaning that there is no reason at all why
political parties and mass organizations should not combine, reenforce, influence
and interact with each other so that the very objectives that we set in this
Constitution for sectoral representation are achieved in a wider, more lasting, and
more institutionalized way. Therefore, I support this [Monsod-Villacorta]
amendment. It installs sectoral representation as a constitutional gift, but at the
same time, it challenges the sector to rise to the majesty of being elected
representatives later on through a party list system; and even beyond that, to
become actual political parties capable of contesting political power in the wider
constitutional arena for major political parties.
x xx [32] (Emphasis supplied)

R.A. No. 7941 provided the details for the concepts put forward by the
Constitutional Commission. Section 3 of R.A. No. 7941 reads:
Definition of Terms. (a) The party-list system is a mechanism of
proportional representation in the election of representatives to the House of
Representatives from national, regional and sectoral parties or organizations or
coalitions thereof registered with the Commission on Elections (COMELEC).
Component parties or organizations of a coalition may participate independently
provided the coalition of which they form part does not participate in the party-list
system.
(b) A party means either a political party or a sectoral party or a coalition
of parties.

(c) A political party refers to an organized group of citizens advocating an


ideology or platform, principles and policies for the general conduct of
government and which, as the most immediate means of securing their adoption,
regularly nominates and supports certain of its leaders and members as candidates
for public office.
It is a national party when its constituency is spread over the geographical
territory of at least a majority of the regions. It is a regional party when its
constituency is spread over the geographical territory of at least a majority of the
cities and provinces comprising the region.
(d) A sectoral party refers to an organized group of citizens belonging to
any of the sectors enumerated in Section 5 hereof whose principal advocacy
pertains to the special interests and concerns of their sector,
(e) A sectoral organization refers to a group of citizens or a coalition of
groups of citizens who share similar physical attributes or characteristics,
employment, interests or concerns.
(f) A coalition refers to an aggrupation of duly registered national,
regional, sectoral parties or organizations for political and/or election purposes.

Congress, in enacting R.A. No. 7941, put the three-seat cap to prevent any party
from dominating the party-list elections.
Neither the Constitution nor R.A. No. 7941 prohibits major political parties
from participating in the party-list system. On the contrary, the framers of the
Constitution clearly intended the major political parties to participate in party-list
elections through their sectoral wings. In fact, the members of the Constitutional
Commission voted down, 19-22, any permanent sectoral seats, and in the
alternative the reservation of the party-list system to the sectoral groups. [33] In
defining a party that participates in party-list elections as either a political party
or a sectoral party, R.A. No. 7941 also clearly intended that major political
parties will participate in the party-list elections. Excluding the major political
parties in party-list elections is manifestly against the Constitution, the intent of the
Constitutional Commission, and R.A. No. 7941. This Court cannot engage in
socio-political engineering and judicially legislate the exclusion of major political
parties from the party-list elections in patent violation of the Constitution and the
law.

Read together, R.A. No. 7941 and the deliberations of the Constitutional
Commission state that major political parties are allowed to establish, or form
coalitions with, sectoral organizations for electoral or political purposes. There
should not be a problem if, for example, the Liberal Party participates in the partylist election through the Kabataang Liberal ngPilipinas (KALIPI), its sectoral youth
wing. The other major political parties can thus organize, or affiliate with, their
chosen sector or sectors. To further illustrate, the Nacionalista Party can establish
a fisherfolk wing to participate in the party-list election, and this fisherfolk wing
can field its fisherfolk nominees. KabalikatngMalayang Pilipino (KAMPI) can do
the same for the urban poor.
The qualifications of party-list nominees are prescribed in Section 9 of R.A.
No. 7941:

Qualifications of Party-List Nominees. No person shall be nominated


as party-list representative unless he is a natural born citizen of the Philippines, a
registered voter, a resident of the Philippines for a period of not less than one (1)
year immediately preceding the day of the elections, able to read and write, bona
fide member of the party or organization which he seeks to represent for at least
ninety (90) days preceding the day of the election, and is at least twenty-five (25)
years of age on the day of the election.
In case of a nominee of the youth sector, he must at least be twenty-five
(25) but not more than thirty (30) years of age on the day of the election. Any
youth sectoral representative who attains
the age of thirty (30) during his
term shall be allowed to continue until the expiration of his term.

Under Section 9 of R.A. No. 7941, it is not necessary that the party-list
organizations nominee wallow in poverty, destitution and infirmity [34] as there is
no financial status required in the law. It is enough that the nominee of the sectoral
party/organization/coalition belongs to the marginalized and underrepresented
sectors,[35] that is, if the nominee represents the fisherfolk, he or she must be a
fisherfolk, or if the nominee represents the senior citizens, he or she must be a
senior citizen.
Neither the Constitution nor R.A. No. 7941 mandates the filling-up of the
entire 20% allocation of party-list representatives found in the Constitution. The

Constitution, in paragraph 1, Section 5 of Article VI, left the determination of the


number of the members of the House of Representatives to Congress: The House
of Representatives shall be composed of not more than two hundred and fifty
members, unless otherwise fixed by law, x xx. The 20% allocation of party-list
representatives is merely a ceiling; party-list representatives cannot be more than
20% of the members of the House of Representatives. However, we cannot allow
the continued existence of a provision in the law which will systematically prevent
the constitutionally allocated 20% party-list representatives from being filled. The
three-seat cap, as a limitation to the number of seats that a qualified party-list
organization may occupy, remains a valid statutory device that prevents any party
from dominating the party-list elections. Seats for party-list representatives shall
thus be allocated in accordance with the procedure used in Table 3 above.
However, by a vote of 8-7, the Court decided to continue the ruling
in Veterans disallowing major political parties from participating in the party-list
elections, directly or indirectly. Those who voted to continue disallowing major
political parties from the party-list elections joined Chief Justice Reynato S. Puno
in his separate opinion. On the formula to allocate party-list seats, the Court is
unanimous in concurring with this ponencia.
WHEREFORE, we PARTIALLY
GRANT the
petition. We SET
ASIDE the Resolution of the COMELEC dated 3 August 2007 in NBC No. 07-041
(PL) as well as the Resolution dated 9 July 2007 in NBC No. 07-60. We declare
unconstitutional the two percent threshold in the distribution of additional party-list
seats. The allocation of additional seats under the Party-List System shall be in
accordance with the procedure used in Table 3 of this Decision. Major political
parties are disallowed from participating in party-list elections. This Decision is
immediately executory. No pronouncement as to costs.
SO ORDERED.

ANTONIO T. CARPIO
Associate Justice

WE CONCUR:

REYNATO S. PUNO
Chief Justice

LEONARDO A. QUISUMBING
Associate Justice

MA. ALICIA AUSTRIA-MARTINEZ


Associate Justice

CONCHITA CARPIO MORALES


Associate Justice

MINITA V. CHICO-NAZARIO
Associate Justice

CONSUELO YNARES-SANTIAGO
Associate Justice

RENATO C. CORONA
Associate Justice

DANTE O. TINGA
Associate Justice

PRESBITERO J. VELASCO, JR.


Associate Justice

ANTONIO EDUARDO B. NACHURA


Associate Justice

TERESITA J. LEONARDO-DE CASTRO


Associate Justice

ARTURO D. BRION
Associate Justice
DIOSDADO M. PERALTA
Associate Justice

LUCAS P. BERSAMIN
Associate Justice

CERTIFICATION
Pursuant to Section 13, Article VIII of the Constitution, I certify that the
conclusions in the above Decision had been reached in consultation before the case
was assigned to the writer of the opinion of the Court.

REYNATO S. PUNO
Chief Justice

[1]

Under Rule 65 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure.


Rollo (G.R. No. 179271), pp. 86-87. Signed by Chairman Benjamin S. Abalos,
Sr.,
Commissioners Resurreccion Z. Borra, Florentino A. Tuason, Jr., Romeo A. Brawner, Rene
V.
Sarmiento, and Nicodemo T. Ferrer.
[3]
Under Rule 65 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure.
[4]
Rollo (G.R. No. 179295), pp. 103-108. Signed by Chairman Benjamin S. Abalos,
Sr., Commissioners Resurreccion Z. Borra, Florentino A. Tuason, Jr., Romeo A. Brawner, Rene
V.
Sarmiento, and Nicodemo T. Ferrer.
[5]
396 Phil. 419 (2000).
[6]
Rollo (G.R. No. 179271), pp. 969-986; rollo (G.R. No. 179295), pp. 798-815. Party-List Canvass
Report
No. 32, as of 31 August 2007, 6:00 p.m.
[7]
Rollo (G.R. No. 179271), p. 70.
[8]
Rollo (G.R. No. 179271), pp. 88-92.
[9]
Id. at 150-153.
[10]
Id. at 86-87.
[11]
Rollo (G.R. No. 179295), p. 112.
[12]
Rollo (G.R. No. 179271), pp. 158-159. NBC Resolution No. 07-74, 24 July 2007.
[13]
Id. at 160-161. NBC Resolution No. 07-87, 3 August 2007.
[14]
NBC Resolution No. 07-97, 4 September 2007.
[15]
Rollo (G.R. No. 179295), pp. 816-817. This COMELEC certification should have included An Waray, which
was proclaimed on 4 September 2007 under NBC Resolution No. 07-97.
[16]
Rollo (G.R. No. 179271), p. 14.
[17]
Rollo (G.R. No. 179295), pp. 21-22.
[18]
Rollo (G.R. No. 179271), p. 553; rollo (G. R. No. 179295), p. 341.
[19]
Supra note 5 at 424.
[20]
Id. at 446-451. We quote below the discussion in Veterans explaining the First Party Rule:
[2]

Formula for Determining


Additional Seats for the First Party
Now, how do we determine the number of seats the first party is entitled to? The only basis given
by the law is that a party receiving at least two percent of the total votes shall be entitled to one seat.
Proportionally, if the first party were to receive twice the number of votes of the second party, it should be
entitled to twice the latters number of seats and so on. The formula, therefore, for computing the number of
seats to which the first party is entitled is as follows:
Number of votes
of first party

Proportion of votes of

--------------------

Total votes for

first party relative to


total votes for party-list system

party -list system


If the proportion of votes received by the first party without rounding it off is equal to at least six
percent of the total valid votes cast for all the party list groups, then the first party shall be entitled to two
additional seats or a total of three seats overall. If the proportion of votes without a rounding off is equal to
or greater than four percent, but less than six percent, then the first party shall have one additional or a total
of two seats. And if the proportion is less than four percent, then the first party shall not be entitled to any
additional seat.
We adopted this six percent bench mark, because the first party is not always entitled to the
maximum number of additional seats. Likewise, it would prevent the allotment of more than the total
number of available seats, such as in an extreme case wherein 18 or more parties tie for the highest rank
and are thus entitled to three seats each. In such scenario, the number of seats to which all the parties are
entitled may exceed the maximum number of party-list seats reserved in the House of Representatives.
x xx
Note that the above formula will be applicable only in determining the number of additional seats
the first party is entitled to. It cannot be used to determine the number of additional seats of the other
qualified parties. As explained earlier, the use of the same formula for all would contravene the
proportional representation parameter. For example, a second party obtains six percent of the total number
of votes cast. According to the above formula, the said party would be entitled to two additional seats or a
total of three seats overall. However, if the first party received a significantly higher amount of
votes say, twenty percent to grant it the same number of seats as the second party would violate the
statutory mandate of proportional representation, since a party getting only six percent of the votes will
have an equal number of representatives as the one obtaining twenty percent. The proper solution,
therefore, is to grant the first party a total of three seats; and the party receiving six percent, additional seats
in proportion to those of the first party.
Formula for Additional
Seats of Other Qualified Parties
Step Three The next step is to solve for the number of additional seats that the other qualified parties
are entitled to, based on proportional representation. The formula is encompassed by the following
complex fraction:
No. of votes of

Additional seats
for concerned
=
party

concerned party
-----------------Total no. of votes
for party-list system
----------------------No. of votes of
first party
-------------Total no. of votes
for party list system

No. of additional
seats allocated to
the first party

In simplified form, it is written as follows:


No. of votes of
Additional seats
concerned party
for concerned
=
-----------------x seats allocated to
party
No. of votes of
the first party
first party

No. of additional

x xx
Incidentally, if the first party is not entitled to any additional seat, then the ratio of the number of
votes for the other party to that for the first one is multiplied by zero. The end result would be zero
additional seat for each of the other qualified parties as well.
The above formula does not give an exact mathematical representation of the number of additional
seats to be awarded since, in order to be entitled to one additional seat, an exact whole number is necessary.
In fact, most of the actual mathematical proportions are not whole numbers and are not rounded off for the
reasons explained earlier. To repeat, rounding off may result in the awarding of a number of seats in excess
of that provided by the law. Furthermore, obtaining absolute proportional representation is restricted by the
three-seat-per-party limit to a maximum of two additional slots. An increase in the maximum number of
additional representatives a party may be entitled to would result in a more accurate proportional
representation. But the law itself has set the limit: only two additional seats. Hence, we need to work within
such extant parameter.
[21]
Id. at 475-481.
[22]
The second vote cast by a registered voter is for the party-list candidates as provided in Section
10
of R.A. No. 7941.
[23]
Rollo (G.R. No. 179271), p. 47.
[24]
Id. at 48.
[25]
Id. at 1076.
[26]
Rollo (G.R. No. 179295), pp. 66-81.
[27]
Rollo (G.R. No. 179271), pp. 969-974; rollo (G.R. No. 179295), pp. 798-803. Party-List Canvass
Report
No. 32, as of 31 August 2007, 6:00 p.m.
[28]
Id.
[29]
Proclamation deferred by COMELEC.
[30]
Section 2, R.A. No. 7941.
[31]
The product of the percentage and the remaining available seats of all parties ranked nine and
below
is less than one.
[32]
II RECORD, CONSTITUTIONAL COMMISSION 256-257 (25 July 1986), 568 (1 August 1986).
[33]
Id. at 584 (1 August 1986). Dissenting opinion of Justice Jose C. Vitug in AngBagongBayaniOFW
Labor Party v. COMELEC, 412 Phil. 308,
350 (2001).
[34]
AngBagongBayani-OFW Labor Party v. COMELEC, 412 Phil. 308, 336 (2001).
[35]
Section 2, R.A. No. 7941.