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SC affirms Comelec ruling not to give 1PACMAN 3rd seat in Congress

The Supreme Court on Tuesday ruled that One Patriotic Coalition of Marginalized Nationals (1PACMAN) party-list is entitled not to three but only two seats in the House of Representatives.

In a media briefing, SC Public Information Office chief and spokesman Theodore Te said the tribunal denied 1PACMAN's petition to have one additional seat in Congress on top of the two seats given to them after securing 1,310,197 votes in the May 9 elections.

The votes that 1PACMAN got corresponded to 4.0466 percent of the total votes cast in the party-list elections. Under the party-list system, a party-list group which gets at least 2 percent of the total votes is entitled to one seat.

In its petition, 1PACMAN alleged that the Commission on Elections violated pertinent provisions of Republic Act No. 7941, as well the equal protection clause, when it failed to include the party-list in the last round for allocation of the remaining available seats for party-list representatives in the 2016 polls and for failing to allocate one more additional seats from the remaining seats.

In its ruling, the SC found no grave abuse of discretion by the Comelec and relied on the court's previous ruling in Banat v. Comelec. In the said case, the SC held that in computing additional seats, the guaranteed seats shall no long be included because they have already been allocated at one seat each to every two percent.

In the May 9, 2016 elections, 12 party-list groups, including 1PACMAN, obtained two percent of the total votes. As the maximum seats reserved under the party-list system is 59, the 12 guaranteed seats would then be deducted, leaving a total of 47, which are the remaining seats for allocation as additional seats.

According to the Banat rule, the number of remaining seats shall be distributed proportionally to party-list groups receiving sufficient number of votes using the following formula: the quotient of the number of votes received by a party-list group and the total number of votes cast for the party-list system, multiplied by the number of remaining available seats.

The whole number integer of the product of the percentage and the remaining number of available seats corresponds to the additional seat to be given to the party-list group.

1PACMAN's percentage only amounted to 4.0466 percent, which when multiplied by 47 would equal 1.901092, and gives petitioner only one more seat in addition to its guaranteed seat. —KBK, GMA News