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It is great that the progressive parties are expanding however, Javito Palparan also known as “the butcher of Mindoro”  has a seat in Congress via Bantay party. Wherever  Palaparan was stationed the killings of mass activists would rise up. Contradictions….hmmmm where is it here???  However, it is not a surprise that the elites want to place one of their own in congress to keep the status qoue!!!

SC expands party-list representation

by ARIES RUFO, abs-cbnNEWS.com/Newsbreak | 04/21/2009 7:40 PM

The High Tribunal ordered on Tuesday the full implementation of the constitutional provision on the party-list system, as it struck down as unconstitutional the two percent threshold in the allocation of seats.

For the first time since 1998, all the available seats for sectoral groups will now be filled up in the House of Representatives, ensuring what the Supreme Court says is the “full implementation” of the constitutional provision on party-list representation.

The Constitution states that party-list representatives “shall constitute 20 per centum of the total number of representatives, including those under the party-list.” The Court said the “since the 14th Congress has 220 district representatives, there are 55 seats available to party-list representatives.”

(The House of Representatives website, however, shows that there are only 218 congressional districts.  At present, there are 216 district representatives. Thus, there should only be 54 seats available for the party-list system.)

New formula

In a ruling penned by Justice Antonio Carpio, the SC revised the old computation in the allocation of party-list seats by striking down the two percent barrier before a party-list could acquire a seat.

The old formula, which was contained in the Veterans Federation Inc. vs. Comelec, grants only the maximum three seats to the party-list group that garnered the highest votes in the party-list elections. Known as the First Party Rule, additional seats are then allocated to other party-list groups that broke the two-percent threshold, but not exceeding two seats.

But the SC, revising its own computation, ruled that the two percent threshold only “guarantees a seat to the two percenters” but does not limit them to only one seat. Strict application of the two-percent barrier “in the distribution of additional seats frustrates the attainment of the permissive ceiling that 20 percent of the members of the House of Representatives shall consist of party-list representatives,” the Court said.

It added: “We rule that, in computing the allocation of additional seats, the continued operation of the two percent threshold for the distribution of the additional seats….is unconstitutional. This Court finds that the two percent threshold makes it mathematically impossible to achieve the maximum number of available party-list seats when the number of  available party list seats exceeds 50.”

The new formula does not limit the maximum three seats to the highest party-list vote-getter, and also distributes the allocation of seats even to those groups that do not break the two percent threshold.

Beneficiaries

Based on the SC’s computation, Bayan Muna, which now has two seats, will get the maximum three seats. The other party-list group that got the maximum three seats is Buhay, which was the highest vote-getter in the 2007 elections.

The new computation allows 18 party-list groups to have one seat to fill up the available seats for sectoral representation.

One of the beneficiaries include retired Army General Jovito Palparan, dubbed as the “Butcher” by leftist groups.  The controversial Palparan left a trail of deaths in his various assignments. He is the first nominee of Bantay party-list, which, under the new computation, is entitled to one seat.

Another group that benefits from the new SC ruling is the FPJPM or the Fernando Poe Jr. for President Movement, which was backed by the late presidential candidate Fernando Poe Jr..

as of 04/21/2009 7:46 PM

http://abs-cbnnews.com/nation/04/21/09/sc-expands-party-list-representation

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