SC seeks Comelec comment on partylists' petition

THE Supreme Court has ordered the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to comment on the petition filed by partylist groups that seeks to correct the allegedly disproportionate seat allocation for winning party-list representatives last elections.

The petition for certiorari was filed by partylist groups An Waray, Agricultural Sector Alliance of the Philippines (Agap), and Citizens' Battle against Corruption (Cibac). The three partylist group were awarded one seat each out of the 59 seats allotted for partylist representatives in the incoming 17th congress.

The SC asked the poll body, along with eight other respondent partylists, Ating Agapay Sentrong Samahan ng mga Obrero Inc. (Aasenso), Serbisyo sa Bayan Party (SBP) Magdalo Para sa Pilipino (Magdalo), Una ang Edukasyon (1-AngEdukasyon), Manila Teachers Savings and Loan Association Inc. (Manila Teachers), Kausug Tausug, Aangat Tayo, Agbiyag Timpuyog Ilocano Inc. to comment on the petition "within ten days from notice."

The partylist groups wanted the Comelec to nullify and modify the decision of the Comelec National Board of Canvassers (NBOC) Resolution 009-18 and NBOC Resolution 008-16 both dated May 19, 2016 as they argued that the seats given to the winners were disproportionate.

Instead of using the formula provided by the SC based in its ruling on the Banat versus Comelec case in 2009, the petitioners wanted the poll body to adopt a "supplemental formula" to ensure a proportional allocation of seats for partylist winners.

Under the "Banat formula," the participating partylists shall be ranked from the highest to the lowest based on the number of votes they obtained during elections before undergoing two rounds of allocation of seats.

The modified formula proposed by the petitioners was to divide the total number of votes cast in the partylist system by the votes garnered by the partylist group.

The petitioners cited a 2009 Court decision authored by SC Associate Justice Antonio Carpio, which laid down a three-stage formula for allocation of seats for the winning partylist groups. (Sunnex)
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