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Comelec asked to answer party-lists' petition on seat allocation.

The Supreme Court (SC) on Tuesday ordered the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to answer the petition filed by several party-list groups questioning the allocation of their seats in the House of Representatives.

The high court's information chief Theodore Te said Comelec had 10 days from notice to submit its comment.

'The court directed respondent to comment on the petition for certiorari dated June 17, 2016, within 10 days from notice,' Te said in a press briefing.

Party-list groups An Waray, Agricultural Sector Alliance of the Philippines (Agap), Citizens' Battle against Corruption (Cibac), Ating Agapay Sentrong Samahan ng mga Obrero Inc. (Aasenso), Serbisyo sa Bayan Party (SBP), Magdalo Para sa Pilipino (Magdalo), Una ang Edukasyon (1-Ang Edukasyon), Manila Teachers Savings and Loan Association Inc. (Manila Teachers), Kusug Tausug, Aangat Tayo, and Agbiag Timpuyog Ilocano Inc. asked the high court to nullify or modify Comelec Resolution No. 009-18 and Resolution No. 008-16 both dated May 19, 2016.

The groups said the allocation of seats for party-list representatives of the 17th Congress was disproportionate.

The petitioners earlier said the poll body should use a formula different from the one prescribed by the high court in the 2009 ruling on Banat v Comelec.

The said SC jurisprudence provides for the allocation of the 59 seats for party-list representatives based on the number of votes they garnered during the May 9 polls before undergoing two rounds of allocation of seats.

In the first round, the party-lists receiving at least two percent of the total votes cast shall be entitled to one guaranteed seat each.

Since 12 party-list groups were able to garner at least two percent of the total number of votes cast, they were given 12 seats and in the second round, the same 12 were given an additional one seat each based on the whole number of the product between the percentage of their respective votes and the remaining available seats.

The number of additional seat is determined by multiplying the percentage of votes received by the party-list group (the quotient of the number of votes garnered and the total number of votes cast) and the number of remaining seats available.

The whole integer in the product represents the number of additional seats to be assigned to a party-list.

The Comelec has said it will farm out the congressional seats for the party-lists based on the Banat ruling.

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Publication:Philippines Daily Inquirer (Makati City, Philippines)
Date:Jun 28, 2016
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