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Comelec to proclaim 32 partylist bets—exec

Posted on: April 22, 2009

Comelec to proclaim 32 partylist bets—exec

By Anna Valmero
INQUIRER.net
First Posted 13:51:00 04/22/2009

Filed Under: Elections, Eleksyon 2010

MANILA, Philippines – The Commission on Elections (Comelec) national board of canvassers will reconvene this week to proclaim the 32 new partylist candidates that will take their seat at the House of Representatives, following a landmark decision by the Supreme Court that voided the traditional formula of determining the winners, an official said.

On Tuesday, the Supreme Court granted a petition filed by the Barangay (village) Association for National Advancement (Banat) to void the 2 percent threshold previously used to determine which partylist groups would get a second or third seat at House of Representatives.

“Decision pa lang ang natanggap ng Comelec, binabasa na ng en banc ito para gawan ng action at mapunan ang sinasabi ng Supreme Court na [The Comelec has just received the decision and the en banc is studying the new formula for the] 32 additional seats sa [in] Congress. It does not mean we know right away who will occupy the seats, we have to compute for it first,” said Comelec spokesman James Jimenez.

Jimenez said the “Banat formula” would pave way for partylist groups to complete the 55 seats allotted to them in Congress. Presently, 22 seats are occupied by partylist organizations in the lower chamber.

“Marami ang mabubuhayan ng loob na pwede na sila mag-compete, malamang dadami mag-participate sa 2010 [This will encourage many marginalized groups to join and gain representation, it will be highly likely there will be more party list candidates in the 2010 polls],” said Jimenez.

The term of the 32 additional partylist representatives will end in 2010, said Jimenez.

Asked if this would affect the preparations for the 2010 elections, Jimenez said: “I don’t think it will significantly affect the aspirants for 2010, with or without this decision more party list [groups]w ill run for representation and I do not see a correlation of this decision with the shape of the ballots in 2010.”

In a separate interview, Butil Farmers Party representative Leonila Chavez lauded the Supreme Court ruling and quoted Comelec Jose Melo’s decision that the 32 new partylist lawmakers would be proclaimed by Monday next week.

“For Butil, we feel this is a very good change kasi dadami kami [because we will gain more representation in the lower chamber],” said Chavez.

Meanwhile, Speaker Prospero Nograles said in a report that the high court ruling might present physical problems given there was no budget to build offices for the 32 soon-to-be House members.

He added that with the 32 new partylist representatives and the current 238 House members, there would be a total 270 congressmen, exceeding the 250-limit of seats allowed for partylist legislators in the House.

Commenting on this, Chavez said she is willing to share her room to the new party list representatives.

Repubic Act 7941 or the party list act states the party-list system is a mechanism of proportional representation of Filipino citizens belonging to marginalized and under-represented sectors in the election of representatives to the House of Representatives from national, regional and sectoral parties or organizations or coalitions thereof registered with the Comelec.

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