Jun 202013
The Commission on Elections (Comelec) has given back to Buhay and Magdalo party-list groups the seats that were initially taken from them as a result of a Supreme Court order regarding the cases of two disqualified party-list groups.  

Buhay was initially guaranteed three seats at the House of Representatives after garnering more than two percent of total votes in the May 13 elections. Magdalo, on the other hand, has two seats.

The Comelec, however, took one seat each from the two groups after the Supreme Court ordered the poll body to reserve two seats for Senior Citizens and one seat for Abang Lingkod party-lists, which have pending appeals before the high court.

For its third nominee, Buhay will have William Irwin Tieng, whose family owns Solar Entertainment Group, while for Magdalo it would be Francisco Ashley Acedillo, a former Cebu City representative who was involved in the November 2007 Manila Peninsula siege.

The other nominees who were not in danger of losing their seats are Mariano Michael Velarde, son of El Shaddai founder Mike Velarde, and former Environment secretary Lito Atienza for Buhay; and Gary Alejano, who was also involved in the Manila Pen siege, for Magdalo.

The party-list system is a proportional mode of representation in Congress, which means the number of seats is based on the number of votes per party-list.

Party-lists that got two percent of total votes cast are guaranteed a seat. Those that got more than two percent may get additional seats, based on the Comelec’s formula on seat allocation.

Reserved seats

Senior Citizens, in the Comelec’s 10th partial tally, got 677,642 votes, which guarantee it two seats, while Abang Lingkod got 260,215 votes, equivalent to one seat.

To abide with the SC’s ruling, the Comelec would be reserving one guaranteed seat and two additional seats between Senior Citizens and Abang Lingkod, poll chief Sixto Brillantes Jr. said Thursday.

It would be An Waray, which won two seats with over 540,000 votes, that would have to give up a seat for the two groups, he said without elaborating. An Waray ranked 15th in their 10th partial tally of the Comelec.

The Comelec would then proclaim two more party-lists to fill in the 54th and 55th seats at the House of Representatives, Brillantes said.

“There has to be three seats for Senior Citizens and Abang Lingkod. Instead of filling up all 58 (seats), we’ll have to proclaim 55,” he said.
Meanwhile, the 56th to 58th seats, including An Waray’s, will be reserved for Senior Citizens and Abang Lingkod, the poll chief added.

“Ang maiiwan na lang ay isa sa guaranteed seats, which is An Waray, at saka dalawa sa ilalim (ng 58 seats), only because we have to accommodate the additional seats in the scenario that Senior Citizens and Abang Lingkod win in the SC case,” Brillantes said. — KBK, GMA News

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