Fact checks on public officials

FACT CHECK: Binay not expelled from Senate


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FACT CHECK: Binay not expelled from Senate
The false claim circulates following a heated exchange between Senators Nancy Binay and Alan Cayetano during a hearing on the new Senate building in Taguig

Claim: Senator Nancy Binay has been expelled from office.

Rating: FALSE

Why we fact-checked this: The YouTube video bearing the claim was posted on July 4 by a channel with 66,400 subscribers. As of writing, it has gained 60,931 views, 277 comments, and 1,400 likes.

Displaying the images of Binay, Senator Alan Cayetano, and Vice President Sara Duterte, the video’s thumbnail bears the text: “Sibak si Binay. Nako po! Nagkagulo sa Senado. Senate cyndicate [sic].” 

(Binay has been expelled. Oh no. The Senate is in chaos. Senate [syndicate].)

The facts: Binay is still part of the upper chamber under the 19th Congress, as seen on the Senate’s official website

No reports from the official Facebook accounts of Binay nor the Senate confirm the senator’s alleged removal from office.

The video also did not provide evidence to support its claim. The clickbait video merely compiled news reports and opinions from other commentators regarding the Cayetano-led hearing on the new Senate office in Fort Bonifacio in Taguig City. 

Article VI, Section 16, of the Constitution explains the process for expelling a sitting senator: “Each House may determine the rules of its proceedings, punish its Members for disorderly behavior, and, with the concurrence of two-thirds of all its Members, suspend or expel a Member. A penalty of suspension, when imposed, shall not exceed sixty days.”


Cayetano vs. Binay word war: The video was uploaded following a heated argument between Binay and Cayetano during the July 3 hearing on the ballooning cost of the new Senate building. Senate President Chiz Escudero had ordered a “comprehensive review” after learning that the construction project would cost the government P23 billion. (READ: What’s the controversy over the P23-B new Senate building all about?)

During the hearing, Binay refuted Cayetano’s claim that the new Senate office cost P23 billion, stating it was only P21.7 billion. Cayetano, who heads the Senate committee on accounts, insisted the higher cost was due to land acquisition.

The argument intensified when Cayetano accused Binay of disrupting the hearing and spreading false stories about him in the media, alleging she conducted interviews to link the issue to the Makati-Taguig land dispute while feeding identical questions to radio hosts.

Binay walked out of the room upon confirming with Department of Public Works and Highways Undersecretary Emil Sadain that the department’s documents do not show a P23-billion price tag. 

As Binay exited the room, Cayetano said: “Nabuang ka na ‘day. Tapusin natin nang maayos ito. Senado ito ng Pilipinas, hindi ito palengke (You became crazy. Let’s fix this properly. This is the Senate of the Philippines, not a market.)”

Ethics complaint: On Monday, July 8, Binay filed an ethics complaint against Cayetano for violating the Senate Rules, the Civil Code, Code of Professional Responsibility and Accountability, and the Magna Carta on Women, among others. 

In her complaint, Binay asked the ethics panel to impose appropriate penalties on Cayetano for his “malicious imputations” that she was allegedly influencing the media to favor her own narrative.

The two senators had previously been at odds, with Cayetano leading a 2015 probe against the Binay family related to allegedly overpriced Makati infrastructure projects. – Larry Chavez/Rappler.com

Larry Chavez is a graduate of Rappler’s fact-checking mentorship program. This fact check was reviewed by a member of Rappler’s research team and a senior editor. Learn more about Rappler’s fact-checking mentorship program here.

Keep us aware of suspicious Facebook pages, groups, accounts, websites, articles, or photos in your network by contacting us at factcheck@rappler.com. You may also report dubious claims to the #FactsFirstPH tipline by messaging Rappler on Facebook or Newsbreak via Twitter direct message. You may also report through our Viber fact check chatbot. Let us battle disinformation one Fact Check at a time.

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