Supreme Court junks petition of 1-PACMAN to gain additional seat in Congress

  • The SC junked the petition 1-PACMAN to take three seats in Congress
  • The SC affirmed the decision of COMELEC to give only two seats for the party-list
  • Up to 59 party-list seats are allocated in the House of Representatives after the 2016 election

The Supreme Court (SC) has affirmed the decision of the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) to allocate only two seats for the One Patriotic Coalition of Marginalized Nationals (1-PACMAN) party-list in the House of Representatives.

In doing so, the SC junked the petition of 1-PACMAN to take the maximum of three seats it could possibly have obtained under election rules for the party-list system.

During the recently concluded elections, 1-PACMAN emerged as one of the victors with 1,310,197 or 4.046 percent of all votes cast during the polls.

Under current rules, a party-list that gets at least 2 percent of all votes cast can earn one seat in Congress.

1-PACMAN accused the COMELEC of abuse of discretion when it did not include the party-list in computing for additional seats.

However, SC Public Information Office chief and spokesman Theodore Te explained that the High Court used its previous decision in Banat vs. COMELEC.

The COMELEC had provided 12 guaranteed seats for every party-list that got the minimum required two percent.

“The Court ruled that in computing additional seats, the guaranteed seats shall no longer be included because they have already been allocated, at one seat each, to every two percenter. Thus, the remaining available seats for allocation are the maximum seats reserved under the partylist system less the guaranteed seats,” the SC said in its ruling, as previously quoted in a report by SunStar.

A total of 59 seats in Congress were up for grabs in the recent elections. The COMELEC had allocated 12 guaranteed, which left a total of 47 remaining seats for allocation.