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Republic of the Philippines

SUPREME COURT
Manila

EN BANC

G.R. No. 179271 April 21, 2009

BARANGAY ASSOCIATION FOR NATIONAL ADVANCEMENT AND TRANSPARENCY


(BANAT), Petitioner,
vs.
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

G.R. No. 179295 April 21, 2009

BAYAN MUNA, ADVOCACY FOR TEACHER EMPOWERMENT THROUGH ACTION,


COOPERATION AND HARMONY TOWARDS EDUCATIONAL REFORMS, INC., and
ABONO, Petitioners,
vs.
COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS, Respondent.

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 Resolution2 promulgated on 3
August 2007 by the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) in NBC No. 07-041 (PL). The
COMELEC’s 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),
Aangat Tayo (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-
604 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 Party-
List 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. COMELEC5 (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. 07-041 (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 BANAT’s 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:
Buhay Hayaan Yumabong (BUHAY), Bayan Muna, Citizens’ Battle Against Corruption (CIBAC),
Gabriela’s Women Party (Gabriela), Association of Philippine Electric Cooperatives (APEC), A
Teacher, Akbayan! Citizen’s Action Party (AKBAYAN), Alagad, Luzon Farmers Party (BUTIL),
Cooperative-Natco Network Party (COOP-NATCCO), Anak Pawis, 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 party-list votes cannot go any higher
than sixteen 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/ 1,337,032


untabulated (i.e. canvass deferred)

iii. Maximum party-list votes (based on 100% outcome) 102,430


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

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 Citizen’s 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/ VOTES


COALITION RECEIVED
1 BUHAY 1,163,218
2 BAYAN MUNA 972,730
3 CIBAC 760,260

4 GABRIELA 610,451

5 APEC 538,971
6 A TEACHER 476,036

7 AKBAYAN 470,872
8 ALAGAD 423,076

9 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 Bagong Alyansang Tagapagtaguyod ng Adhikaing Sambayanan (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 Buhay Hayaan Yumabong BUHAY

2 Bayan Muna BAYAN MUNA


3 Citizens Battle Against Corruption CIBAC
4 Gabriela Women’s Party GABRIELA
5 Association of Philippine Electric Cooperatives APEC
6 Advocacy for Teacher Empowerment Through A TEACHER
Action, Cooperation and Harmony Towards
Educational Reforms, Inc.

7 Akbayan! Citizen’s Action Party AKBAYAN

8 Alagad ALAGAD
9 Luzon Farmers Party BUTIL

10 Cooperative-Natco Network Party COOP-NATCCO


11 Anak Pawis ANAKPAWIS

12 Alliance of Rural Concerns ARC

13 Abono 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 Bagong Alyansang Tagapagtaguyod ng Adhikaing Sambayanan (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 COMELEC’s 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


1 BUHAY 1,178,747
2 BAYAN MUNA 977,476
3 CIBAC 755,964

4 GABRIELA 621,718

5 APEC 622,489
6 A TEACHER 492,369

7 AKBAYAN 462,674
8 ALAGAD 423,190

9 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, Buhay Hayaan Yumabong (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 Citizen’s
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 Proportion of votes of first


= party relative to total votes for
Total votes for party-list system 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 Additional seats


by the first party
Equal to or at least 6% 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
= 0.07248 or 7.2%
16,261,369

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:

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

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

Party List Percentage Additional Seat

BAYAN MUNA 1.65 1

CIBAC 1.28 1
GABRIELA 1.05 1
APEC 1.05 1
A TEACHER 0.83 0

AKBAYAN 0.78 0

ALAGAD 0.71 0
BUTIL 0.69 0
COOP-NATCO 0.69 0
ANAKPAWIS 0.62 0

ARC 0.63 0

ABONO 0.57 0

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 bancsitting 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 2
BAYAN MUNA 1

CIBAC 1

GABRIELA 1
APEC 1

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 BANAT’s 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 Party-List 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. The 3-seat limit prescribed by RA 7941 shall be applied; and

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.

R E C O M M E N D A T I O N:

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." 1awphi1
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 certification15by COMELEC, the following party-list
organizations have been proclaimed as of 19 May 2008:

Party-List No. of Seat(s)


1.1 Buhay 3
1.2 Bayan Muna 2
1.3 CIBAC 2
1.4 Gabriela 2
1.5 APEC 2
1.6 A Teacher 1
1.7 Akbayan 1
1.8 Alagad 1
1.9 Butil 1
1.10 Coop-Natco [sic] 1
1.11 Anak Pawis 1
1.12 ARC 1
1.13 Abono 1
1.14 AGAP 1
1.15 AMIN 1

The proclamation of Bagong Alyansang Tagapagtaguyod ng Adhikaing Sambayanan (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. Is the three-seat limit provided in Section 11(b) of RA 7941 constitutional?

3. Is the two percent threshold and "qualifier" votes prescribed by the 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. Violates the constitutional principle of proportional representation.

B. Violates the provisions of RA 7941 particularly:

1. The 2-4-6 Formula used by the First Party Rule in allocating additional
seats for the "First Party" violates the principle of proportional representation
under RA 7941.

2. The use of two formulas in the allocation of additional seats, one for the
"First Party" and another for the qualifying parties, violates Section 11(b) of
RA 7941.

3. The proportional relationships under the First Party Rule are different from
those required under RA 7941;

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. Is the twenty percent allocation for party-list representatives in Section 5(2), Article
VI of the Constitution mandatory or merely a 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 7941 to qualify for
one seat constitutional?

4. 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 party-list 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 party-list 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.

xxx

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. 1avv phi 1.zw+

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 Number of seats available to
x .20 = 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 14th Congress 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. Mendoza’s
dissent in Veterans presented Germany’s Niemeyer formula21 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 x x

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 party-list 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 BANAT’s 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 BANAT’s second
interpretation.

In G.R. No. 179295, Bayan Muna, Abono, and A Teacher criticize both the COMELEC’s 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

Votes Votes
Rank Party Rank Party
Garnered Garnered

1 BUHAY 1,169,234 48 KALAHI 88,868


2 BAYAN MUNA 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 COOP-NATCCO 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 party-list 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

Votes Garnered over


Votes Guaranteed
Rank Party Total Votes for
Garnered Seat
Party-List, in %
1 BUHAY 1,169,234 7.33% 1

2 BAYAN MUNA 979,039 6.14% 1


3 CIBAC 755,686 4.74% 1
4 GABRIELA 621,171 3.89% 1

5 APEC 619,657 3.88% 1


6 A TEACHER 490,379 3.07% 1
7 AKBAYAN 466,112 2.92% 1
8 ALAGAD 423,149 2.65% 1

9 COOP-NATCCO 409,883 2.57% 1

10 BUTIL 409,160 2.57% 1


11 BATAS29 385,810 2.42% 1
12 ARC 374,288 2.35% 1
13 ANAKPAWIS 370,261 2.32% 1

14 ABONO 339,990 2.13% 1

15 AMIN 338,185 2.12% 1


16 AGAP 328,724 2.06% 1

17 AN WARAY 321,503 2.02% 1

Total 17
18 YACAP 310,889 1.95% 0
19 FPJPM 300,923 1.89% 0
20 UNI-MAD 245,382 1.54% 0

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 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.

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 Party-List 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 party’s 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

Votes Guaranteed Additional (B) plus


Applying
Garnered Seat Seats (C), in
Votes the three
Rank Party over (First (Second whole
Garnered seat cap
Total Round) Round) integers
(E)
Votes for (B) (C) (D)
Party
List, in %
(A)

1 BUHAY 1,169,234 7.33% 1 2.79 3 N.A.


BAYAN
2 979,039 6.14% 1 2.33 3 N.A.
MUNA
3 CIBAC 755,686 4.74% 1 1.80 2 N.A.

4 GABRIELA 621,171 3.89% 1 1.48 2 N.A.

5 APEC 619,657 3.88% 1 1.48 2 N.A.


6 A Teacher 490,379 3.07% 1 1.17 2 N.A.

7 AKBAYAN 466,112 2.92% 1 1.11 2 N.A.


8 ALAGAD 423,149 2.65% 1 1.01 2 N.A.
COOP-
931 409,883 2.57% 1 1 2 N.A.
NATCCO
10 BUTIL 409,160 2.57% 1 1 2 N.A.

11 BATAS 385,810 2.42% 1 1 2 N.A.


12 ARC 374,288 2.35% 1 1 2 N.A.
13 ANAKPAWIS 370,261 2.32% 1 1 2 N.A.

14 ABONO 339,990 2.13% 1 1 2 N.A.


15 AMIN 338,185 2.12% 1 1 2 N.A.
16 AGAP 328,724 2.06% 1 1 2 N.A.

17 AN WARAY 321,503 2.02% 1 1 2 N.A.


18 YACAP 310,889 1.95% 0 1 1 N.A.

19 FPJPM 300,923 1.89% 0 1 1 N.A.

20 UNI-MAD 245,382 1.54% 0 1 1 N.A.


21 ABS 235,086 1.47% 0 1 1 N.A.

22 KAKUSA 228,999 1.44% 0 1 1 N.A.


23 KABATAAN 228,637 1.43% 0 1 1 N.A.

24 ABA-AKO 218,818 1.37% 0 1 1 N.A.

25 ALIF 217,822 1.37% 0 1 1 N.A.


SENIOR
26 213,058 1.34% 0 1 1 N.A.
CITIZENS
27 AT 197,872 1.24% 0 1 1 N.A.
28 VFP 196,266 1.23% 0 1 1 N.A.

29 ANAD 188,521 1.18% 0 1 1 N.A.

30 BANAT 177,028 1.11% 0 1 1 N.A.


ANG
31 170,531 1.07% 0 1 1 N.A.
KASANGGA
32 BANTAY 169,801 1.06% 0 1 1 N.A.

33 ABAKADA 166,747 1.05% 0 1 1 N.A.

34 1-UTAK 164,980 1.03% 0 1 1 N.A.


35 TUCP 162,647 1.02% 0 1 1 N.A.

36 COCOFED 155,920 0.98% 0 1 1 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 x x 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 x x.

xxx

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 Tañada wants to run under BAYAN group and says that he
represents the farmers, would he qualify?

MR. VILLACORTA. No, Senator Tañada 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 ko lamang linawin ito. 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. Ang punto lamang namin, pag pinayagan mo ang UNIDO na isang political party, it will
dominate the party list at mawawalang saysay din yung sector. Lalamunin mismo ng political parties
ang party list system. Gusto ko lamang bigyan ng diin ang "reserve." Hindi ito reserve seat sa
marginalized sectors. Kung titingnan natin itong 198 seats, reserved din ito sa political parties.

MR. MONSOD. Hindi po reserved iyon kasi 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. Puwede po ang UNIDO, pero sa sectoral lines.

xxxx

MR. OPLE. x x x 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 Partido ng 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 x x 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.33In 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 party-list election through the Kabataang Liberal ng Pilipinas (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. Kabalikat ng
Malayang 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 organization’s 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 x x." 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.