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(BANAT)

Petitioner,

- versus -

COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS

COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS, Promulgated:


Respondent.

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 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: Buhay Hayaan Yumabong (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), 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/
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/ 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.

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 Veteransformula 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 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 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 to
a concerned party No. of votes of 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 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 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 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 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.

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 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.
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 Number of seats available to


to legislative districts 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.
Mendozas dissent in Veteranspresented 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 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 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]

Votes Votes
Rank Party Rank Party
Garnered Garnered
1 BUHAY 1,169,234 48 KALAHI 88,868
2 BAYAN 979,039 49 APOI 79,386
MUNA
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- 409,883 56 GRECON 62,220
NATCCO
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 213,058 73 ASAP 34,098
CITIZENS
27 AT 197,872 74 PEP 33,938
28 VFP 196,266 75 ABA 33,903
ILONGGO
29 ANAD 188,521 76 VENDORS 33,691
30 BANAT 177,028 77 ADD-TRIBAL 32,896
31 ANG 170,531 78 ALMANA 32,255
KASANGGA
32 BANTAY 169,801 79 AANGAT KA 29,130
PILIPINO
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! 130,356 86 APO 16,421
PINAY
40 PM 119,054 87 BIYAYANG 16,241
BUKID
41 AVE 110,769 88 ATS 14,161
42 SUARA 110,732 89 UMDJ 9,445
43 ASSALAM 110,440 90 BUKLOD 8,915
FILIPINA
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
Votes over Total Guaranteed
Rank Party
Garnered Votes for Party- Seat
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 BATAS[29] 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 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

Additional (B) plus


Votes Guaranteed Applying
Seats (C), in
Garnered Seat the three
whole
over seat cap
integers
Total Votes
Votes for Party
Rank Party
Garnered List, in %

(Second
(First Round)
Round)

(A) (B) (E)


(C) (D)

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

2 BAYAN 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.

9[31] COOP- 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.

26 SENIOR 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.

31 ANG 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 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 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.[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 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 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 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.

ANTONIO T. CARPIO
Associate Justice