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SC asked to order Comelec to act on Gabriela’s 3-seat petition

/ 04:18 PM July 11, 2016
INQUIRER FILE PHOTO / RICHARD A. REYES

INQUIRER FILE PHOTO / RICHARD A. REYES

Gabriela Women’s Party on Monday asked the Supreme Court to order the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to correct its error in their computation and proclaim that they are entitled to three seats.

The party-list group went to the Supreme Court due to the delay in the proclamation of their third nominee,0 Bai Ali Indayla.

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Gabriela said they went to the Supreme Court via petition for certiorari after Comelec failed to act on their petition within the 30-day limit under its rules.

It said that under the rules of procedures, the Comelec en banc has until June 21 to resolve their motion but until now has failed to do so.

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“The subsequent inaction of the Comelec en banc on the pending omnibus motion filed by Petitioner until the lapse of the period to which it is required by law to resolve the same, and the consequent substantial injury that resulted therefrom are valid grounds for the Supreme Court to step into remedy such manifest injustice,” the petition stated.

READ: Gabriela slams Comelec ‘inaction’ on 3-seat petition

In a petition for certiorari, the Gabriela Women’s party-list represented by its chairperson Emerenciana “Emmy” De Jesus said the Comelec committed grave abuse of discretion when it issued Resolution No.008-16 last May 19 on the party-list groups entitled to a seat in the Lower House.

The said resolution, the petitioner said, deprived it of one additional seat in the party-list representation when it committed a mathematical error in computation that resulted in Gabriela being given only two seats instead of three (one guaranteed seat and two additional seats).

“Petitioner maintains that the promulgation of the said resolution resulted in its deprivation of one additional seat in the party-list representation. The Comelec promulgated the assailed resolution with grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or in excess of jurisdiction in defiance of the formula prescribed by the Honorable Court in the Barangay Association for National Advancement and Transparency (BANAT) vs Comelec in 2009,” the petition said.

The petitioner said the poll body made a mathematical error when, instead of using 59.5 (Gabriela garnered 4.2245 percent of the total votes X 59.5 less 12 guaranteed seats for party-list groups that garnered at least two percent of the total party-list votes equals to 2.0066375), used 59 in the formula as an expression of the 20 percent Constitutional requirement of the total number of representatives in the Lower House, thereby arriving at 1. 985515 instead of 2.0066375.

This, the petitioner argued, results in a deprivation of additional seat that it is entitled to.

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“Petitioner maintains that the Comelec is not entitled to use its discretion in removing the 0.5 from the product of the computation for the determination of the 20 percent of party-list seats. Following the rules in mathematical calculations and the Banat vs Comelec case, only the ultimate result is allowed to be rounded off to ensure and to achieve accuracy and precision,” it explained.

Petitioner said 60 is the figure to be used instead of 59 in determining the number of seats for party-list groups.

Mathematically, the group said 59 is 19.83193% while 60 is 20.16807%. Note that both are 20% if rounded. However, petitioner argued in favor of greater or broader representation at 60 seats.

“Hence, as it is, the figure designated by the public Respondent in the assailed Resolution, as the total number of seats allocated for party-list representatives, pegged at 59, constitutes only 19.83 percent of the total number of representatives including those under the party-list, clearly falling short of the Constitutional requirement….The sixty (60) seats for party-list representation are the just, equitable and more accurate numerical expression of 20 percent,” petitioners added. RAM/rga

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TAGS: Comelec, Commission on Elections, Elections 2016, Gabriela Women’s Party, SC, Supreme Court
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