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Veterans Federation Party vs.

Commission on Elections
(The last part is procedural. It is advisable to read it in full text nevertheless I
already made a summary.)
The case at bar are three consolidated Petitions for Certiorari assailing COMELEC
resolutions dated October 15, 1998 and January 7, 1999 affirming the said
disposition. The assailed resolutions ordered the proclamation of thirty-eight
additional party-list representatives to complete the full complement of 52 seats in
the House of Representatives as provided under Section 5, Article VI of the 1987
Constitution and RA 9741.
On May 11, 1998, the first election for party-list representation was held
simultaneously with the national election. The COMELEC en banc declared 13 partylist representatives from 12 parties and organizations, which had obtained at least
2% of the total number of votes cast for the party-list system. PAGASA filed with
the COMELEC a Petition to Proclaim Full Number of Party-List Representatives
provided by the Constitution, was mandatory. Thereafter, several party-list
organizations filed their respective motions for intervention. The COMELEC granted
PAGASAs petition and ordered the proclamation of herein 38 respondents who, in
the addition of the 14 sitting, would thus total 52 party-list representatives. It
disregard the 2% vote requirement prescribed under Section 11 (b) of RA 7941,
instead it promulgated its own elements how to fill the 52 seats.
Whether the 20% allocation of party-list representatives mentioned in Section 5 (2),
Article VI of the Constitution is mandatory or merely a ceiling.
Whether the 2% threshold requirement and the three-seat limit provided in Section
11 (b) of RA 7641 is constitutional. And how should the additional seats of a
qualified party be determined
The Court ruled that the Constitution does not require all such allocated seats to be
filled up all the time and under all circumstances. A simple reading of Section 5,
Article VI of the Constitution, easily conveys the equally simple message that
Congress was vested with the broad power to define and prescribe the mechanics of
the party-list system of representation. The Constitution explicitly sets down only
the percentage of the total membership in the House of Representatives reserved
for party-list representatives. The Congress enacted RA 7941 to exercise this
constitutional prerogative. Section 11 (b) of the aforementioned RA only provides a
ceiling for party-list seats in Congress.
The 2% threshold imposed by the Congress wanted to ensure that only those
parties, organizations, and coalitions having a sufficient number of constituents
deserving of representation are actually represented in Congress. The 2% is
consistent with the very essence of representation. Under a republican state, all
government authority emanates from the people, but is exercised by
representatives chosen by them. But to have meaningful representation, the elected
persons must have the mandate of a sufficient number of people.

The three-seat-per Party limit ensures the entry of various interest-representations

into the legislature. Thus, no single group, no matter how large its membership,
would dominate the party-list seats, if not the entire House.
Having determined the above contentions, the following refers to the method of
allocating additional seats.
First step is to rank all the participating parties, organizations, and coalitions
according to the votes they each obtained. The percentage of their respective votes
as against the total number of votes cast for the party-list system is determined. All
those garnered at least 2% of the total votes cast have an assured seat in the
House of Representatives. Thereafter, those garnering more than 2% of the votes
shall be entitled to additional seats in proportion to their total number of votes.
Second, is to determine the number of seats the first party is entitled to, in order to
be able to compute that for the other parties. Since the distribution is based on
proportional representation, the number of seats to be allotted to the other parties
cannot possibly exceed that to which the first party is entitled by virtue of its
obtaining the most number of votes. A fractional membership cannot be converted
into a whole membership of one when it would, in effect, deprive another partys
fractional membership.
If the proportion of the votes received by the first party without rounding it off is
equal to at least six percent of the total valid votes cast for all party list groups,
then the first party shall be entitled to 2 additional seats or a total of three seats
overall. The court adopted the 6% bench mark because the first party is not always
entitled to the maximum number of additional seats.
Step three is to solve for the number of additional seats that the other qualified
parties are entitled to, based on proportional representation. The formula is
encompassed by the following:
Additional seats for concerned party = (No. of votes of concerned party/No. of votes
of first party) * No. of additional seats allocated to first party
Rounding off may result in the awarding of a number of seats in excess of that
provided by law hence discouraged due to the reason mentioned above.

Santiago vs. Guingona, Jr.

Senators Miriam Santiago and Francisco Tatad instituted an original petition for quo
warranto, seeking the ouster of Senator Teofisto Guingona, Jr. as minority leader of
the Senate and the declarations of Senator Tatad as the rightful minority leader. On
the agenda for the day was the election of officers. Santiago nominated Tatad for
the position of Senate President together with Fernan, and the latter was declared
duly elected President of the Senate. Senator Tatad thereafter manifested that with
the agreement of Santoago, allegedly the only ther membe of the minority, he was
assuming the position of minority leader. He explained that those who had voted for
Senator Fernan comprised the majority, while only those who had voted for him, the
losing nominee, belonged to the majority. Senator Flavier manifested that the
senators belonging to the Lakas-NUCD-UMDP Party composed of 7 members, also
a minority had chosen Senator Guingona as the minority leader. The majority
leader informed the body that he was in receipt of a letter signed by the 7 LakasNUCD-UMDP senators, stating that they had elected Senator Guingona as the
minority leader. By virtue thereof, the Senate President formally recognized Senator
Guingona as the minority leader of the Senate. Hence, this petition.
Whether Section 16, Article VI of the 1987 Constitution has been observed in the
selection of the Senate minority leader.
Petitioners contend that those who voted for the losing nominee and accepted no
such charimanships comprise the minority, to whom the right to determine the
minority leader belongs. Members of the Lakas-NUCD-UMDP cannot choose the
minority leader because they did not belong the minority, having voted Fernan and
accepted committee charimanships. The Court believed that the interpretation
proposed by petitioners finds no clear support from the Constitution. The plain and
unambiguous words of the subject constitutional cause simply mean that the
Senate President must obtain the votes of more than one half of all the senator. Not
by any construal does it thereby delineate who comprise the majority much less
the minority. It does not provide that the members who will not vote for the
Senate President shall ipso facto constitute the minority, who could thereby elect
the minority leader. Verily, no law or regulation states that the defeated candidate
shall automatically become the minority leader. All the charter says is that each
house shall choose such other officers as it may deem necessary. To the court, the
method of choosing who will be such other officers is merely a derivative of the
exercise of the prerogative conferred by the aforequoted constitutional provision.
Therefore, such method must be prescribed by the Senate itself, not by the court in
respect to the separation of powers among coequal branches.

Lazatin vs. House of Representative Electoral Tribunal

Petitioner and private respondents were among the candidates for Representative of
the first district of Pampanga during the May 11, 1987 elections and the petitioner
was proclaimed as Congressman-elect. The case at bar is a special action for
certiorari and prohibition with prayer for the issuance of a writ of preliminary
injunction and/or restraining order seeking the annulment and setting aside of (1)
the resolution of the House Representative Electoral Tribunal (HRET), dated May 2,
1988, holding that the protest filed by private respondent had been filed on time
and (2) its July 29, 1988 resolution denying the motion for reconsideration the
motion for the reconsideration.
Resolution of the instant controversy hinges on which provision governs the period
for filing protests in the HRET. Should Section 250 of the Omnibus Election Code be
held applicable, private respondent protest would have been filed out of time. On
the other hand, if Section 9 of the HRET rules is applicable, the filing of the protest
would be timely. The HRET ruled that on the basis of Section 9, the protest should
have been filed within 15 days from November 22, 1987 or not later than December
7, 1987. However, on September 15, 1987, the COMELEC, acting upon a petition
filed by the protestant (private respondent), promulgated a Resolution declaring the
proclamation void ab initio. This resolution had the effect of nullifying the
proclamation, and such proclamation was not reinstated until protestant received a
copy of the Supreme Courts decision annulling the COMELEC resolution on January
28, 1988, and the 15-day period for protestant to file his protest must be reckoned
from that date. Protestant filed his protest on February 8, 1988, 11 days after
January 28, hence, the protest was filed well within the reglementary period.
Whether private respondents protest had been seasonably filed.
The Court is of the view that the protest had been filed on time and, hence, the
HRET acquired jurisdiction over it. Petitioners reliance on Section 250 is couched in
unambiguous terms and needs no interpretation. It applies only to petitions filed
before the COMELEC contesting the election of any Member of the Batasang
Pambansa, or any regional, provincial or city official. The aforementioned Section
had ceased to be effective under the 1987 Constitution because the Batasang
Pambansa has already been abolished and the Constitution vests exclusive
jurisdiction over all contests relating to the election, returns and qualifications of the
Members of the Senate and the House of Representatives in the respective
Electorate Tribunals. As such, the HRET has the power to promulgate rules and
regulations relative to matters within its jurisdiction, including the period for filing
election protests before it, is beyond dispute. Its rule-making power necessarily
flows from the general power granted it by the Constitution.
Moreover, private respondents attempt to have the Court set aside the HRETs
resolution to defer action on his prayer for provisional relief is undeniably
premature, considering that the HRET had not yet taken any final action with regard
to his prayer. Hence, there is actually nothing to review or annul and set aside. But

then again, so long as the Constitution grants the HRET the power to be the sole
judge of all contests relating to the election, returns and qualifications of Members
of the House of Representatives, any final action taken by the HRET on matter
within its jurisdiction shall, as a rule, not be reviewed by the Court. The power
granted to the Electoral Tribunal is full, clear and complete, and excludes the
exercised of any authority on the part of this Court that would in any wise restrict or
curtail it or even affect the same.