SC junks 1-Pacman plea questioning Comelec allotment of 2 seats
The Supreme Court on Tuesday dismissed the petition filed by One Patriotic Coalition of Marginalized Nationals or 1-Pacman party-list group questioning the Commission on Elections (Comelec) decision allocating the group only two seats in the House of Representatives.
“The Court dismissed the petition for certiorari and mandamus assailing the National Board of Canvassers Resolution No. 008-16 issued by the Comelec, sitting as such for the elections for senators and members of the House of Representatives for the 2016 national and local elections, for failure to show grave abuse of discretion on the part of the Comelec,” SC spokesperson Theodore Te said at a press conference.
The Supreme Court said there was no grave abuse of discretion on the part of the election body which used the high court’s own 2009 decision on the case of Banat vs Comelec when it issued the ruling on the 1-Pacman case.
In the 2009 decision, the high court held that 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 are the maximum seats reserved under the party-list system less the guaranteed seats,” Te said.
Te explained that 12 party-list groups, including the petitioner, obtained at least two percent of the total votes cast for the party-list system, thus, each is entitled to one seat each. As the maximum seats reserved under the party-list system is 59, the 12 guaranteed seats would then be deducted therefrom, leaving a total of 47, which are the remaining seats for allocation as additional seats.
“According to the Banat ruling, the number of remaining seats shall be distributed proportionally to party-list groups receiving sufficient number of votes using the following formula: the percentage (i.e., the quotient of the number of votes received by a party-list group) and the total number of votes cast for the party-list system multiplied by the number of remaining available seats. The whole integer of the product of the percentage and the remaining number of available seats corresponds to a party-list group’s share in the remaining available seats,” Te said of the en banc’s ruling.
But in this case, he said 1-Pacman’s percentage was 4.0466 percent and if such percentage is multiplied by 47, the product is only 1.901092, which gives petitioner only one more seat in addition to its guaranteed seat.
In its petition, 1-Pacman claimed that the poll body violated pertinent provisions of Republic Act No. 7941 as well as the equal protection clause, since the latter failed to include the group in the last round for the allocation of the remaining available seats for party-list representatives in the May 9 elections and in failing to allocate one more additional seat from the remaining seats for party-list representatives in favor of the petitioner.
The group received 1,310,197 votes which is equivalent to a percentage of 4.0466 of total votes garnered. As such, it was allocated two party-list seats—one guaranteed seat and one additional seat—out of the total 59 seats allotted for party-lists.
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