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BANAT v.

COMELEC (2009)
Summary: These are two petitions. In the first, BANAT assails the COMELEC
Resolution which denied BANATs petition to proclaim the full number of party-list
representatives provided by the Constitution. In the second, Bayan Muna, A Teacher
and Abono assails the Comelec resolution which made a partial proclamation of
parties, organizations and coalitions that obtained at least 2% of total votes cast
under the party-list system. The Court ruled that the 2% threshold in the distribution
of additional party-list seats is unconstitutional.
Doctrines:
In determining the allocation of seats for PL reps under Sec. 11 of RA 7941,
the ff must be observed:
o Parties, organizations and coalitions (POCs) shall be ranked from
highest to lowest based on the number of votes they garnered during
the elections.
o The POCs receiving at least 2% of the total votes cast for the PL
system shall be entitled to one guaranteed seat each.
o Those garnering sufficient number of votes according to the ranking,
shall be entitled to additional seats in proportion to their total
number of votes until all the additional seats are allocated.
o Each POC shall be entitled to not more than 3 seats.
Steps in the second round of seat allocation.
o Percentage is multiplied by the remaining available seats. 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.
o Assign one party-list seat to each of the parties next in rank until all
available seats are completely distributed. Distribute all of the
remaining seats in the second round of seat allocation.
o Apply the 3 seat cap to determine the number of seats each qualified
PL candidate is entitled.
Facts:
May 2007 elections included elections for party-list (PL) reps. 15,950,900
votes cast for 93 PLs.
BANAT filed its Petition to Proclaim the Full Number of Party-List Reps
Provided by the Constitution.
o Reason: Chairman and members of Comelec have been quoted in the
newspapers that the Comelec shall apply the Veterans ruling would
apply the Panganiban formula in allocating PL seats.
o Prayers:
Full number (20%) of PL reps as mandated by Consti be
proclaimed
Par. b Sec 11 of RA 7941 which prescribes the 2% threshold
votes should be harmonized with Sec. 5, Art. VI of Consti and
with Sec. 12 of the RA in that it should be applicable only to the
first PL rep seats to be allotted on the basis of their initial/first
ranking.
3-seat limit in 7941 be applied

All PL groups shall be given the number of seats corresponding


to every 2% of votes they received and the additional seats shall
be allocated in acc with RA 7941 in proportion to the
percentage of votes obtained by each party-list group in relation
to the total nationwide votes cast in the PL election, after
deducting the corresponding votes of those which were allotted
seats under the 2% threshold rule.
The formula/procedure prescribed in the Allocation of PL
Seats, Annex A of Comelec Resolution 2847 shall be used
for the purpose of determining how many seats shall be
proclaimed, which party list groups are entitled and how
many of their nominees shall sit.
In the alternative: declare unconstitutional Sec. 11 of RA 7941
and that the procedure in allocating seats for PL Reps prescribed
by Sec. 12 be followed.
Comelec proclaimed 13 parties as winners in the PL elections. (based on
15,283,659 votes)
Comelec promulgated Resolution No. 07-72 which declared the additional
seats allocated to the appropriate parties.
o Projected total number of votes for each of the 13 qualified parties
o BUHAY obtained the highest number of votes among the 13; thus it is
the first party according to the Veterans ruling.
o In determining the additional seats for the first party, correct formula
is: number of votes of first party / total votes for PLS = Proportion of
votes of first party relative to total votes for PLS. The proportion of
votes received by the first party, without rounding off shall entitle it to
additional seats:
Proportion of votes received by the
Additional seats
first party
Equal to or at least 6%
2
Equal to or greater than 4% but less 1
than 6%
Less than 4%
0

Applying the formula, BUHAY is entitled to 2 additional seats because it


got 7.2%.
o For other qualified candidates (after Buhay) the ff formula must be
used: Additional seats for a concerned party = (No. of votes of
concerned party/No. of votes of first party) x No. of additional seats
allocated to first party.
The ff got additional seats: Buhay 2; Bayan Muna 1;
Cibac 1; Gabriela 1; Apec 1
Banats petition to proclaim was denied for being moot and academic.
Comelec ruled that formula in Veterans v Comelec will be followed. thus
this petition.
Bayan Muna, Abono and A Teacher asked COMELEC as NBC to reconsider its
decision re the use of Veterans formula. denied
o

Comelec proclaimed 3 other PL (one guaranteed seat) AGAP, AMIN and An


Waray.

Issues:
1. Is the 20% allocation for PL reps in the Constitution mandatory or merely a
ceiling?
2. Is the 3-seat limit in the RA constitutional?
3. Is the 2% threshold prescribed in 7941 to qualify for one seat,
constitutional?
4. How shall PL reps seats be allocated?
5. Does the Constitution prohibit the major political parties from
participating in the PL Elections? If not, can the major political parties be
barred from doing so?
Ruling and Discussion of the Court
A Philippine-style PL election has at least 4 inviolable parameters (Veterans)
1. 20% allocation the combined number of all PL reps shall not exceed
20% of the total membership of HOR
2. 2% threshold only those parties garnering a minimum of 2% of the
total valid votes cast for the PL system are qualified to have a seat in the
HOR.
3. 3-seat limit each qualified party, regardless of the number of votes it
actually obtained, is entitled to a maximum of three seats; 1 qualifying and
2 additional
4. Proportional representation additional seats which a qualified party is
entitled to shall be computed in proportion to their total number of votes.
These shall be revisited since they have flaws in mathematical interpretations.
Number of PL Reps: The Formula Mandated by the Constitution
Sec. 5 (1), Art. VI: Members of HOR: not more than 250, unless otherwise
fixed by law.
Sec. 5 (2), Art. VI: ratio of PL reps to total number of reps (20%)
o No. of seats for PL Reps = (No. of seats available to legis districts/.80) x
.20
o Formula allows for corresponding increase in PL reps as LDs increase.
o 220 LDs (2009), so 55 PL reps
Allocation of Seats for PLReps: Statutory Limits Presented by the 2%
Threshold and 3-seat cap
Sec. 11. RA 7941. Procedure to be followed in determining allocation of seats for the
second vote:
a) The parties, orgs 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, orgs and coalitions receiving at least 2% of the total votes cast
for the PL system shall be entitled to one seat each: provided that those
garnering more than 2% of the votes shall be entitled to additional
seats in proportion to their total number of votes: Provided finally that
each POC shall be entitled to not more than 2 seats.

Sec. 12. Procedure. In Allocating Seats for PL Reps. Comelec shall tally all the votes
for the POCs on a nationwide basis, rank them according to the number of votes
received and allocate PL Reps proportionately according to the percentage of votes
obtained by each PCO, as against the total nationwide votes cast for the PL system.
Interpretations of BANAT:
I. Sec. 11 (b) on the 2% requirement vis a vis Sec. 12: 44 seats will be awarded
a) PL reps: 20% of total mems of HOR 220 LDs so 55 PLRs. All seats must be
proclaimed
b) Initial allotment of 1 seat for every 2% of the total PL votes they obtained: no
more than 3 seats
c) The remaining seats shall, after deducting the seats obtained by the PL
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 PL groups which have not secured the
max 3 seats under the 2% threshold rule.
II. Assumes that 2% vote req is declared unconstitutional and apportions the seats
for PLR by following Sec. 12 (34 seats here). Comelec
a) Shall tally all the votes for the POC on a nationwide basis
b) Rank them accdg to number of votes received
c) Allocate PL reps proportionately according to the percentage of votes
obtained by each POC as against the total nationwide votes cast for the PL
system.
a. Banat used 2 formulas:
i. Based on the proportional percentage of votes received by each
party as against the total nationwide PL votes
ii. By making the votes of a PL with a median percentage of votes
as the divisor in computing the allocation of seats.

In the second petition, Bayan Muna, et al criticize Comelecs original 2-4-6


formula and the Veterans formula for preventing all the PL seats from being
filled up. They reject the 3-seat cap but accept the 2% threshold.
o After determining qualified parties, a second percentage is
generated by dividing the votes of a qualified party by the total votes
of all qualified parties only.
o The total number of seats allocated to a qualified party is computed by
multiplying the total PL seats available with the second percentage.
o 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 PL. After all the qualified parties are given their seats, a
second round of seat allocation is conducted. The fractions 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.

Courts interpretation
Sec. 11a of RA 7941 prescribes the ranking of the participating parties from
the highest to lowest based on the number of votes they garnered during the
elections.

First clause of Sec. 11b guarantees a seat to the two percenters. 1 seat
once 2% is reached
o Votes garnered / total votes cast for all PL candidates (as applied, only
17 PLs qualify)
Second clause: those garnering more than 2% of votes shall be entitled to
additional seats in proportion to their total number of votes. Veterans
case interprets the clause to be in proportion to the votes of the first party.
contrary to the express language of 7941

Courts ruling:
In computing the allocation of additional seats, the continued operation of the
2% threshold for distribution of additional seats found in the second clause of
Sec. 11b is unconstitutional. It makes it mathematically impossible to
achieve the max number of available party list seats when the number of
available party list seats exceeds 50. This will frustrate the attainment of the
permissive ceiling that 20% of the mems of HOR shall consist of PLRs.
Court struck down the 2% threshold wrt the distribution of
additional seats.
In determining the allocation of seats for PL reps under Sec. 11 of RA 7941,
the ff must be observed:
o POCs shall be ranked from highest to lowest based on the number of
votes they garnered during the elections.
o The POCs receiving at least 2% of the total votes cast for the PL
system shall be entitled to one guaranteed seat each.
o Those garnering sufficient number of votes according to the ranking,
shall be entitled to additional seats in proportion to their total
number of votes until all the additional seats are allocated.
o Each POC shall be entitled to not more than 3 seats.
Two steps in the second round of seat allocation.
o Percentage is multiplied by the remaining available seats (55-17=38).
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.
o Assign one party-list seat to each of the parties next in rank until all
available seats are completely distributed. Distribute all of the
remaining 38 seats in the second round of seat allocation.
o Apply the 3 seat cap to determine the number of seats each qualified
PL candidate is entitled. (see the decision for the sample table).
Participation of major political parties in PL elections
Constitutional commission adopted a multi-party system that allowed all
political parties to participate in the party-list elections.
Monsod: 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.
See definition of terms under RA 7941

Neither the constitution nor RA 7941 prohibits major political parties from
participating in the party-list system. Framers of the constitution clearly
intended the major political parties to participate in party-list elections
through their sectoral wings. In defining a party that participates in party-list
elections as either a political party or a sectoral party, RA 7941 also clearly
intended that major political parties will participate in the party-list elections.
Under Sec. 9, it is not necessary that the party-list organizations nominee
wallow in poverty, destitution or infirmity. No financial status required in the
law. It is enough that the nominee of the sectoral party/org/coalition belongs
to the marginalized and underrepresented sectors

Neither the Constitution nor the RA 7941 mandates the filling up of the entire 20%
allocation of PL reps found in the Constitution. The Constitution, Sec. 5 (1) Art. VI,
left the determination of the number of the members of the HOR to Congress. HOR
shall be composed of not more than 250 members, unless otherwise fixed by law.
The 20% allocation of PL reps is merely a ceiling; PL reps cannot be more than 20%
of the members of the HOR.
Court cannot allow the continued existence of a provision in the law which will
systematically prevent the constitutionally allocated 20% PL reps from being filled.
The three-seat cap, as a limitation to the number of seats that a qualified PL org
may occupy, remains a valid statutory device that prevents any party from
dominating the PL elections. Seats for PL
reps shall thus be allocated in
accordance with the procedure.
Dispositive:
Partially granted. Resolution 07-41 set aside as well as Resolution in NBC No. 07-60.
2% threshold in the distribution of additional party-list seats declared

BANAT v. COMELEC (2009 Resolution)


Issues raised by HOR: (Motion for clarification in intervention)
a) Only 219 LDs (following the annulment of Muslim Mindanao Autonomy Act
No. 201 creating the province of Shariff Kabungsuan), not 220. PL seats are
only 54, not 55. Which of the PL Reps shall be admitted to the Roll?
b) HOR wishes to be guided whether it should enrol in its Roll the 32 named
party-list reps or only such number of reps that would complete the 250
member max prescribed by Art. VI.
a. If it is ordered to admit all 32 will this not violate Art. VI, coz total would
be 270?
c) 2% threshold wrt additional seats was declared unconstitutional, yet Court
distributed first seats to party-list groups which did not attain the minimum
number of votes that will entitle them to one seat. Does the term additional
seats mean 2nd and 3rd seats, or all remaining available seats? Is there still
a minimum vote requirement?
d) Is the Veterans ruling (the filling up of the allowable seats for party-list reps is
NOT mandatory) abandoned?
Issues raised by Roa-Borje, third nominee of CIBAC: SC, in ruling for
distribution of seats, has deprived parties with more significant constituencies in
favour of parties who did not even meet the 2% threshold.
Developments after the April 21, 2009 decision: Total votes for party list is
now 15,723,764 following the cancellation of the registration of FPJPM (Filipinos for
Peace, Justice and Progress Movement).
Courts discussion:
The number of members of HOR in the 2007 Election
Constitution allows for an increase in the number of members of HOR
provided a law is enacted for the purpose.
Legislature has the option to choose whether their increase in the number of
members of the HOR is done by piecemeal legislation or by enactment of a
law authorizing a general increase.
In 1987, only 200 LDs. Twenty LDs were added by piecemeal legislation.
o For purposes of 2007 elections, only 219 district reps. Navotas City
became a separate district more than a month after the election.
The number of PL seats in the 2007 elections.
PL: 20% of total number of representatives. Ratio automatically applies when
number of district reps is increased by law.
(Number of seats available to LDs / .80) x .20 = Number of seats available to
PL Reps.
(4:1 ratio) no need for legislation to create an additional PL seat whenever
four additional legislative districts are created by law.