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Barangay Association for National Advancement and Transparency (BANAT) vs.

COMELEC
G.R. No. 179271
April 21, 2009
Carpio:
Facts:
June 27, 2007- BANAT files before the COMELEC acting as the National Board of
Canvassers (NBC) a Petition to Proclaim the Full Number of Party-List Representatives
Provided by the Constitution.

July 9, 2007- NBC promulgated Resolution No. 07-60 (Resolution 1) partially proclaiming 13
political parties as winners in the 2007 elections since they already reached the 2%
qualifying threshold under the Panganiban formula. Subsequently, NBC Resolution No. 0772 (Resolution 2) was promulgated, allocating additional seats for the appropriate parties.

July 9, 2007- Bayan Muna, Abono, and A Teacher asked the NBC to reconsider Resolution 1
because the Panganiban/ Veterans formula is violative of the Constitution and of RA 7941
(Party-List System Act). NBC denied reconsideration.

August 3, 2007- NBC promulgated Resolution No. 07-88 denying the BANAT petition as this
was rendered moot and academic by Resolution 1. BANAT did not file motion for
reconsideration.

BANAT and Bayan Muna, et al. raised their issues before the Court.

Issue

Ruling

Ratio

1. Is the 20% allocation for


party-list
representatives
in Section 5(2), Article VI
mandatory or merely a
ceiling?

It is mere
ceiling.

2. Is the three-seat limit in


Section 11(b) of RA 7941
constitutional?
3. Is
the
2%
threshold
prescribed in Section 11(b)
of RA 7941 to qualify for a
seat constitutional?

Yes.

Neither the Constitution nor RA 7941 mandates


the filling-up of the entire 20%.
Party-list
representatives cannot be more than 20%.
What is prohibited is an existence of a
provision preventing the 20% allocation from
being filled.
This prevents any party from dominating the
elections.

No (as far
as
the
computatio
n
of
additional
seats
is
concerned).

Section 11(b)
First clause: Guarantees a seat to parties which
garnered at least 2% of the total votes cast for
the party-list system.
Total votes garnered by
party
--------------------------------------This is constitutional as stated in the provisions
of RA 7941.
Second clause: prescribes the way in allotting
the additional seats after the guaranteed seats
(as discussed in the 1st clause) are allotted. In

the Panganiban/ Veterans formula, only those


parties which were able to get 2% in the 1 st
clause are qualified to get additional seats
mentioned in the 2nd clause. Further, the no. of
additional seats will be in proportion to the
total number of votes of the party which is first
in rank instead of the total number of votes
cast for the party-list system.
The Court ruled that the use of the 2% qualifier
in
allocating
the
additional
seats
is
unconstitutional.
1.) Rank the parties based on the number of
votes they respectively garnered.
2.) Determine the two-percenters (1st clause
of Sec. 11b) and allocate 1 guaranteed
seat to them. After allocating the
guaranteed seats to all parties with at
least
2%
vote,
the
additional
seats/remaining seats will be allocated.
3.) In allocating the additional seats
disregard the 2% requirement as this
was already satisfied by Step 2. All
parties are qualified to get an additional
or the remaining seats. The formula
prescribed by the Court:

4. How shall the party-list


representative seats be
allotted?

Total votes garnered by party


---------------------------------------- X remaining
seats(RS)*
Total votes cast for Party-List
*RS= total no. seats for party-list reps
guaranteed seats allotted under Step 2.

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

Yes.

The whole number integer corresponds to the


additional seat. RA 7941 does not have a
provision allowing for a rounding off of
fractional seats. (e.g. 2.92= party has 2
additional seats).
4.) Assign one seat to each of the parties
next in rank until all seats are
completely distributed.
5.) Apply the three-seat cap.
Voting 8-7, the Court continues to uphold the
decision in Ang Bagong Bayani prohibiting the
participation of major political parties in the
party-list elections.
In the dissenting opinion of CJ Puno:
1. The party-list system is a social justice

participating
elections?

in

the

party-list

vehicle:
While any duly authorized party or org
may engage, the role of the Comelec is
to ensure that only those marginalized
and underrepresented become members
of Congress through the party-list
system.
2. Limiting the party-list system to the
marginalized is aligned with the
constitutional
mandate
to
reduce
inequalities by diffusing wealth and
political power.
Note: The ponencia discussed in the majority
opinion that neither the Constitution (based on
the records of the Constitutional Commission)
nor RA 7941 prohibits major political parties
from participating in the party-list elections.
The definition of party under RA 7941 includes
not just sectoral parties but also political
parties.