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Case Digest on Veterans Federation Party v. COMELEC G.R. No. 1136781 (October 6, 2000)

November 10, 2010


FACTS: On May 11, 1998, the first election for the party-list scheme was held simultaneously with the national elections. One hundred and twenty-three parties, organizations and coalitions participated.  On June 26, 1998, the COMELEC en banc proclaimed thirteen party-list representatives from twelve parties and organizations, which had obtained at least two percent of the total number of votes cast for the party-list system.

Thirty-eight defeated parties and organizations promptly filed suit in the COMELEC, pleading for their own proclamations. Hence, COMELEC ordered the proclamation of the 38 parties. Such move filled up the 52 seats allotted for the party-list reps.  Aggrieved, the proclaimed parties asked the SC to annul the COMELEC action and instead to proclaim additional seats, so that each of them would have three party-list reps.

HELD:

1.         Is the 20% allocation for party-list representatives mandatory or is it merely a ceiling? SC: The 20% allocation is only a ceiling and not mandatory.

2.         Are the 2% threshold requirement and the three-seat limit provided in Section 11(b) of RA 7941 constitutional? SC: Yes. Congress was vested with the broad power to define and prescribe the mechanics of the party-list system.

3.         How then should the additional seats of a qualified party be determined? SC:  As to the method of allocating additional seats, the first step is to rank all the participating parties according to the votes they each obtained. The percentage of their respective votes as against the total number of votes cast for the party-list system is then determined. All those that garnered at least two percent of the total votes cast have an assured or guaranteed seat in the House of Representatives. Thereafter, those garnering more than two percent of the votes shall be entitled to additional seats in proportion to their total number of votes. The formula for additional seats of other qualified parties is: no.of votes of concerned party divided by no.of votes of first party multiplied by no. of additional seats allocated to the first party. As for the first party, just take it at face value. ( 5% = 2 seats )

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