senators - updates

Rappler's latest stories on senators


Gordon hits Panelo: Why act as 'spokesman of Albayalde'?

Oct 16, 2019 - 5:05 PM

Senator Richard Gordon says Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo is 'being disrespectful' by commenting on the Senate probe into 'ninja cops'

OUT SOON. Senator Richard Gordon says that the committee report on the GCTA mess will be released soon. Photo by Angie de Silva/Rappler

Ex-Senate president Nene Pimentel 'in stable condition'

Oct 15, 2019 - 8:15 PM

Commission on Human Rights Commissioner Gwen Pimentel Gana says water was removed from the lungs of her father, former Senate president Aquilino 'Nene' Pimentel Jr

STABLE. Former Senate president Aquilino 'Nene' Pimentel Jr is now in stable condition. Rappler file photo

LIVE: Senate hearing on hospital detention

Oct 14, 2019 - 2:30 PM

Watch the hearing live on Rappler

Gatchalian: Proof-of-parking bill can instill responsible car ownership

Oct 12, 2019 - 7:25 PM

Under the proposed bill, Metro Manila-based people who want to buy vehicles will be required to provide an affidavit stating that they are in possession of a parking space for the intended purchase

Heavy traffic was still seen on EDSA on the fourth day of the strict implementation of MMDA's yellow lane policy on Friday, August 9, 2019. Photo by Darren Langit/Rappler

Over 10,000 health workers could lose jobs due to DOH budget cut – Recto

Oct 10, 2019 - 3:00 PM

This concern comes as the Department of Health gears up for the implementation of the Universal Health Care law in 2020

NURSE PAY HIKE. Nurses from Filipino Nurses United (FNU) and nurses from different public and private hospitals ask for 30,000 salary increase, safe nurse to patient ratio, and quality patient care during a press conference at Ermita Manila on 8 October 2019. Photo by Lito Borras/Rappler

Senators grill Albayalde on how a 'ninja cop' got a juicy post

Oct 09, 2019 - 8:23 PM

Major Rodney Balayo IV, who is among the alleged ninja cops, served as the deputy police chief of Tagaytay City. He is now on 'floating status.'

JUICY POST. Senators are enraged on why Major Rodney Baloyo IV holds the acting Tagaytay police chief post given his involvement in the 2013 illegal drug raid. Photo by Angie de Silva/Rappler

Despite SC ruling, Sotto insists on jailing suspects in drug cases under review

Oct 09, 2019 - 5:14 PM

Senate President Vicente Sotto III urges the Department of Justice to change its policy, but the Supreme Court already put its foot down on this issue in 2017

SP Sotto defends probe on alleged ‘ninja cops’: Senate President Vicente C. Sotto III (second from right), clears the air on the Justice and Blue Ribbon Committees’ probe being political in nature saying that the ongoing investigation merely led them to the “ninja cops” controversy. Photo by Angie de Silva/Rappler

'Zip it,' Sotto tells Malacañang officials questioning 'ninja cops' probe

Oct 09, 2019 - 12:55 PM

Senate President Vicente Sotto III makes the statement after Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo claimed that the Senate investigation has become 'politicized'

ZIP IT. Senate President Vicente Sotto III tells critics of the Senate blue ribbon hearings to 'zip it'. File photo by Angie de Silva/Rappler

Senate orders arrest of 'ninja cop' after repeated no-show at hearings

Oct 09, 2019 - 11:49 AM

Master Sergeant Ronald Santos is among the 13 cops involved in a questionable drug operation in Pampanga in 2013

NINJA COPS. Senator Richard Gordon approves the motion citing SPO1 Ronald Bayas Santos in contempt at the 9th Senate blue ribbon hearing. File p by Angie de Silva/Rappler

LIVE: Senate hearing on the GCTA law

Oct 09, 2019 - 10:36 AM

Watch the hearing live on Rappler

Senators say Duterte's muscle disease 'not life-threatening'

Oct 08, 2019 - 5:13 PM

But Senator Joel Villanueva says the President's team should update the people, about the President's condition, as they deem appropriate

RARE DISEASE. President Rodrigo Duterte claims to have a rare muscular disease, myasthenia gravis, which may lead to drooping of eyelids and overall weakness. Malacanang file photo

Sotto: Drug-free PH 'almost impossible,' aim to be 'drug resistant' instead

Oct 08, 2019 - 4:49 PM

'We have not been successful in the other half of the fight, which is the demand-reduction strategy,' says Senate President Vicente Sotto III

'DRUG-RESISTANT'. Senator Vicente Sotto III says the Philippines should work on a drug-resistant environment. File photo by Cesar Tomambo/PRIB

Construction of nuclear power plants in PH risky – Gatchalian

Oct 08, 2019 - 8:13 AM

The senator worries over safety, including dealing with waste, after the Philippines and Russia signed a deal on the construction of nuclear power plants

NUCLEAR POWER. Senator Sherwin Gatchalian urges the government to take precautions into the recent nuclear energy deal signed with Russia. Photo by Angie de Silva/Rappler

Congress goes on monthlong break, with rice farmers left hanging

Oct 07, 2019 - 3:05 PM

'The farmers need relief now, as next year, they might no longer go into farming,' says Jessica Reyes Cantos, president of Action for Economic Reforms

Poe suggests business coaches for MRT3: 'Think out of the box'

Oct 03, 2019 - 10:18 PM

The senator floats the idea as a way to convince passengers to take the train instead of driving private vehicles

BUSINESS COACHES. Would you pay P300 for a guaranteed space in the MRT3? File photo by Jire Carreon/Rappler

Senate cites 2 suspended BuCor officers in 'humanitarian' contempt

Oct 03, 2019 - 8:02 PM

Veronica Buño and Maribel Bansil are caught lying in previous Senate hearings as the National Bureau of Investigation presents the results of a digital forensic exam on their phones

GCTA FOR SALE. Bureau of Corrections officer Ma Benilda 'Maribel' Bansil cries before the Senate hearing after she was cited in contempt by the senators on October 3, 2019. Photo by Angie de Silva/Rappler

‘Hodge-podge planning’: How DOTr mismanages PUV modernization program, according to senators

Oct 03, 2019 - 7:28 PM

Amid criticisms, DOTr Secretary Tugade says they are ready to dialogue, but will not consider canceling the program

HODGE-PODGE PLANNING. Senators criticized the slow progress of the PUV modernization program and the presumed lack of specific targets for the number and deadline for the rollout of modernized units. Photo by Angie de Silva/Rappler

Gordon lashes out at Albayalde: 'You dropped the ball big time'

Oct 03, 2019 - 5:55 PM

Senator Richard Gordon says PNP chief General Oscar Albayalde 'handheld' to this day a group of cops involved in an irregular drug operation in Pampanga in 2013

DON'T MESS WITH THE SENATE. Senator Richard Gordon reminds resource persons at the hearing of the Senate blue ribbon committee that they can't peddle lies at  the Senate. Photo by Angie de Silva/Rappler

Senate detains alleged 'ninja cop' Baloyo in Bilibid

Oct 03, 2019 - 3:41 PM

(UPDATED) 'Alam mo nagsisinungaling ka,' Senator Panfilo Lacson tells Major Rodney Baloyo, one of the alleged ninja cops, as the Senate cites him in contempt

NINJA COP? Police Major Rodney Raymund Baloyo IV, head of the raiding team of a suspected Chinese drug dealer in Pampanga on November 2013. Photo by Angie de Silva/Rappler

'Puro sabaw': BuCor only uses P39 of P60-food budget per prisoner

Oct 03, 2019 - 12:15 PM

Since July 2018, the Bureau of Corrections has been spending an average of P13 per meal for each prisoner

MISMANAGEMENT? The Bureau of Corrections underspends its food budget for prisoners. PRIB Photo

Senate OKs on 2nd reading measure allowing gov't to buy palay from local farmers

Oct 02, 2019 - 8:46 PM

The measure proposes that the government buy from farmers in 11 provinces 'with excess' palay production

PRICES. Filipino farmers earn very little, based on data from the government. Photo by Mau Victa/Rappler

Gordon on slow APECO dev't: 'I want it done'

Oct 02, 2019 - 5:33 PM

Indigenous peoples whose ancestral lands would be affected by APECO are ignored in the budget hearing for 2020

Mr. Israel Maducdoc, president & CEO Asia Pacific Economic Zone and Freeport Authority (APECO) at the senate hearing on the proposed 2020 budget of SBMA and APECO. October 2, 2019. Photo by Angie de Silva/Rappler

'Tarnished' PNP stint? Senators doubt, defend Albayalde

Oct 02, 2019 - 5:09 PM

'Whatever happens, indeed, his stint as PNP chief is tarnished by this revelation. It's a very serious allegation,' says Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon

TOP COP. Journalists interview PNP chief General Oscar Albayalde after a Senate hearing on October 1, 2019. Photo by Angie de Silva/Rappler

'Spectacle of a grand cover-up': Senate hearing bares how 'ninja cops' remain in service

Oct 02, 2019 - 1:53 PM

(UPDATED) 'Why are you trying to get the people off the hook? Are you the mafia or the PNP?' asks Senator Richard Gordon, without naming names

INTERVENTION? Philippines' top cop General Oscar Albayalde is tagged in the 2013 case involving his former men at the Pampanga police. Photo by Angie de Silva/Rappler

Duterte holds his tongue on proposed U.S. travel ban vs officials in De Lima detention

Oct 01, 2019 - 10:50 PM

'Hilaw pa 'yan,' says President Rodrigo Duterte about the proposed travel ban. In contrast, Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo had slammed it as 'brazen' intrusion.

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte delivers his speech during the 50th Founding Anniversary Celebration of Lex Talionis Fraternitas Inc. at The Manila Hotel on September 25, 2019. ALFRED FRIAS/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

Senate to check AFP-Dito deal before Lorenzana decides on it

Sep 30, 2019 - 7:10 PM

Opposition lawmakers want a chance to back out of a deal that might give the Chinese government '130 listening posts' all over the Philippines

DONE DEAL? Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana (left) and Armed Forces of the Philippines chief Lt. Gen. Noel Clement face questions on a deal with China-backed Dito Telecommunity at the Senate on September 30, 2019. Photo by Angie de Silva/Rappler

Senators joke Peralta is next chief justice

Sep 30, 2019 - 7:00 PM

Justice Diosdado Peralta, the most senior of the applicants, represents the judiciary in budget hearings of both chambers of Congress

THE NEXT CJ? Senators tease Associate Justice Diosdado Peralta that he is the next chief justice. File photo by Darren Langit/Rappler

Sotto: At least 15 senators oppose SOGIE equality bill

Sep 30, 2019 - 6:00 PM

Senate President Vicente Sotto III says more than half of senators are against the SOGIE equality bill, but Senator Risa Hontiveros believes the measure has a 'strong fighting chance'

ANTI-SOGIE. A group of Christians from different sectors in the metropolis holds a protest rally in front of the senate building denouncing the passage of SOGIE bill on September 30, 2019. Photo by Angie de Silva/Rappler

Senators want Philippines to stop exporting sugar to U.S.

Sep 30, 2019 - 4:25 PM

Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri says Philippine sugar is better off sold to local companies than be exported to the United States

DEREGULATE. The Philippine government will be relaxing restrictions on sugar imports in 2019. Rappler file photo

Senate approves postponing barangay, SK elections to 2022

Sep 30, 2019 - 3:38 PM

There are 21 senators who supported the measure seeking to postpone village and youth polls to December 5, 2022

POSTPONEMENT. The Senate and the House of Representatives have passed bills seeking to postpone the May 2020 barangay and SK elections to either December 2022 or May 2023. File photo by LeAnne Jazul/Rappler

Senate panels push for transportation safety board

Sep 30, 2019 - 2:10 PM

If created by law, the proposed National Transportation Safety Board would be the primary agency focusing on transport-related investigations

ROAD CRASHES. Since 2013, 3 cities in Metro Manila have consistently recorded the highest number of road crashes in the capital region. File photo

Groups welcome proposed U.S. travel ban on officials in De Lima detention

Sep 28, 2019 - 10:55 PM

The Philippine government, meanwhile, tags the move as an intrusion of sovereignty

FREE LEILA. Senator Leila De Lima leave at Muntinlupa Regional Trial Court in Muntinlupa on 6 September 2019, after the court reschedule her trial on the trumped-up illegal drug trading charges filed against her. Photo by Lito Borras/Rappler

'Brazen' intrusion: PH slams proposed U.S. travel ban on officials in De Lima detention

Sep 27, 2019 - 2:56 PM

(3rd UPDATE) Malacañang insists the detention of Duterte critic Senator Leila de Lima is not politically-motivated

Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo shares the complaints being lodged by concerned citizens 8888 Hotline during the inauguration of the People's Television (PTV) Cordillera Hub at Lualhati Compound in Baguio City on March 11, 2017. TOTO LOZANO/Presidential Photo

U.S. Senate panel OKs proposed ban on PH officials in De Lima detention

Sep 27, 2019 - 1:56 PM

US Senators Richard Durbin and Patrick Leahy propose the amendment to the 2020 state and foreign operations appropriations bill

OPPOSITION SENATOR. Detained Senator Leila De Lima is whisked away after attending a hearing at Muntinlupa Regional Trial Court on August 9 2019. Photo by Lito Borras/Rappler

Gordon tells PCOO: Focus on issues, not on Duterte's personality

Sep 26, 2019 - 7:55 PM

The PCOO would better serve Filipinos if its content presented 'all sides' and is not just oriented to making President Rodrigo Duterte look good, says Senator Richard Gordon

PCOO Secretary Martin Andanar at the hearing on the proposed 2020 budget of the Presidential Communications Office (PCOO) and its attached agencies. September 26, 2019. Photo by Angie de Silva/Rappler

Dela Rosa slammed for vaccine remark: ‘Hindi comedy bar ang Senado!’

Sep 25, 2019 - 11:10 PM

'Are drug wars created so that you, the PNP, and your backers can make money too?' asks one netizen

Senate to send 'ninja cops' list to Duterte

Sep 25, 2019 - 7:50 PM

Senate President Vicente Sotto III asks: 'What due diligence' is the Philippine National Police talking about when the President is asking for the list?

NINJA COPS. The Senate will send the list of 'ninja cops' to the President. Photo by Angie de Silva/Rappler

Senate panel OKs bill increasing cigarettes, alcohol taxes

Sep 25, 2019 - 6:01 PM

If passed, the new set of taxes for alcohol and cigarette products will yield P40 billion to P50 billion in revenues

HIGHER TAXES. Senator Pia Cayetano introduces to the plenary Senate Bill No. 1074 seeking to increase alcohol and cigarette taxes. Photo by Angie de Silva/Rappler

Dela Rosa: Are outbreaks created so vaccines make money?

Sep 25, 2019 - 10:50 AM

Research Institute for Tropical Medicine's Celia Carlos takes the question seriously and says they have checks and policies in place to prevent 'untoward things' from happening

File photo by Angie de Silva/Rappler

PNP invokes 'rights' as Senate allows naming of 'ninja cops'

Sep 25, 2019 - 9:29 AM

'We request, however that the Senate exercise due diligence in protecting the rights of these persons,' says the Philippine National Police

PNP CRIES RIGHTS. The Philippine National Police cautions the Senate against publicly naming cops allegedly linked to illegal drugs. File photo by Jire Carreon/Rappler

Imee Marcos questions need for children's welfare body

Sep 24, 2019 - 8:00 PM

Senator Imee Marcos asks: 'Relevant pa ba 'yan?'

ACCOMPLISHMENT? Senator Imee Marcos presses the Council for the Welfare of the Children to tell the committee about its 'most important accomplishment.' Photo by Angie de Silva

Senate authorizes panels to divulge 'ninja cops' info from executive session

Sep 24, 2019 - 7:22 PM

Seventeen senators vote in favor of making public the list of cops involved in drug recycling

EXECUTIVE SESSION. Baguio City Mayor Benjamin Magalong, former police officer assigned to the CIDG, testifies during the panel before he requested for an executive session with the senators. Photo by Angie de Silva/Rappler

Senate approves on 2nd reading moving barangay, SK polls to 2022

Sep 24, 2019 - 5:39 PM

Senate President Pro-Tempore Ralph Recto warns the chamber that the new President may ask the Congress to postpone barangay and SK elections again

POSTPONEMENT. Senate passed on second reading the postponement of barangay and SK elections 2018. File photo by LeAnne Jazul/Rappler

Dela Rosa says 'ninja cops' list should be made public

Sep 24, 2019 - 2:25 PM

(UPDATED) Senator Ronald dela Rosa vouches for the integrity of PNP chief Oscar Albayalde, clearing him of links with cops who recycle drugs seized during operations

NO LINKS. Senator Ronald dela Rosa clears PNP chief Oscar Albayalde from links to 'ninja cops' involved in drug recycling. Photo by Angie de Silva/Rappler

LIVE: Senate hearing on the proposed immunization program policy

Sep 24, 2019 - 1:04 PM

Watch the hearing live on Rappler

Drilon: PAO forensic lab a duplication, 'waste of money'

Sep 23, 2019 - 9:42 PM

Things get heated and comical as Senator Drilon grills chief public attorney Persida Acosta

Atty. Persida Acosta, chief of the Public Attorney’s Office, answers questions from Sen. Drilon at the senate hearing on the proposed 2020 budget of the Department of Justice and its attached agencies. September 23, 2019. Photo by Angie de Silva/Rappler

Poe says lawmakers 'not in a rush' to pass fintech bill

Sep 23, 2019 - 6:45 PM

Senators recommend the creation of a task force among government agencies to study digital currencies such as Bitcoin

DIGITAL CURRENCIES. Senator Grace Poe, chairperson of Committee on Banks, Financial Institutions and Currencies, presides the senate hearing on the digital currencies and banking situations in the country on September 23, 2019. Photo by Angie de Silva/Rappler

LIVE: Senate hearing on looming increase in ATM fees

Sep 23, 2019 - 10:05 AM

Watch the hearing live on Rappler

18th Congress leaders approve initial list of pet bills

Sep 22, 2019 - 12:42 PM

Congress leaders aim for the 'immediate approval' of 4 bills, including the postponement of the May 2020 barangay and SK elections to May 2023

DUTERTE'S PET BILLS. President Rodrigo Duterte mentions his priority bills during his 4th State of the Nation Address on July 22, 2019. File photo by Ben Nabong/Rappler

Hontiveros says DOH's P10-billion budget cut an 'attack on public health'

Sep 19, 2019 - 11:22 PM

Health Secretary Francisco Duque III appeals to senators to grant them additional budget for 2020 to be able to fully roll out the Universal Health Care law

BASIC SERVICES. Only basic services and accommodation are covered by the Universal Health Care Law and yet it still lacks funding for its first year of implementation. Photo by Darren Langit/Rappler