The bid of three losing party-list groups to get seats in the House of Representatives has been shot down by the Supreme Court (SC).
SC Spokesperson Brian Hosaka said the last Sept. 15 SC en banc voted to deny the petition filed by Ang Partido ng Mga MArinong Pilipino (ANGKLA), Serbisyo sa Bayan Party (SBP) and petitioner-in-intervention Aksyon Magsasaka-Tinig Partido ng Masa (AKMA-PTM) which questioned the constitutionality of Sec. 11(b) of the Republic Act 7941 or the Party-List System Act after having been excluded from the 51 proclaimed winning party-lists in the 2019 polls .
Hosaka noted the Justice Amy Lazaro-Javier’s decision to deny the petition was joined by six magistrates, while, six justices dissented and Justice Alfredo Benjamin Caguioa submitted a concurring and dissenting opinion.
“According to the Petitioners under Section 11(b) of RA 7941, the allocation of additional seats ‘in proportion to the total number of votes’ of a party-list which garnered more than 2% of the party-list votes results in ‘double counting’ of votes in favor of such party-list. Hence they argued that the said provision was unconstitutional,” Hosaka said.
“However, the interpretation of Section 11(b) of RA 7941 had long been settled in the case of Barangay Association for National Advancement and Transparency (BANAT) vs. COMELEC, G.R. No. 179271 decided by the Supreme Court on 08 July 2009. The Banat case laid down the parameters and methodology on how the seats for the party-list sector should be allocated, and the same formula had been used and applied in the allocation of seats for the party-list sector in Congress since then,” he pointed out.
Also, Hosaka pointed out “the majority vote required by the Constitution to annul and declare a law unconstitutional was not reached.”
“As a consequence, the proclamation by the Comelec of the winning party-list groups during the 13 May 2019 elections in accordance with the formula espoused in the Banat Case was upheld. Further, Section 11(b) of RA 7941 was not declared unconstitutional,” he said.