17th Congress news and updates

Rappler's latest stories on 17th Congress

ARTICLE FINDER

Arroyo wants House to focus on checking implementation of laws

Nov 19, 2018 - 2:00 PM

Speaker Gloria Macapagal Arroyo says this is what lawmakers should do in the remaining months of the 17th Congress, to help the executive branch 'strive for maximum results in the shortest possible time'

OVERSIGHT. Speaker Gloria Macapagal Arroyo sits beside House committee on disaster management chair Geraldine Roman during a panel hearing on November 19, 2018

Senate inaction on China: No inquiry amid militarization

Jul 08, 2018 - 6:56 PM

Experts tell Rappler it is the Senate's 'patriotic duty' to protect the Philippines' territorial integrity as China militarizes the South China Sea

Opposition senators seek probe into Calida firm's gov't contracts

May 30, 2018 - 5:55 PM

It remains to be seen if administration senators will indeed allow opposition senator Antonio Trillanes IV to lead an investigation into the contracts worth P261.39 million

Solicitor General Jose Calida explains that President Rodrigo Duterte has the power to declare Martial Law on certain conditions to protect the country from any security threats. He said during a press briefing in Malacañan on January 19, 2017. KING RODRIGUEZ/ Presidential Photos

Senate honors soldiers for defending, maintaining peace in Marawi

May 28, 2018 - 5:36 PM

'The supreme sacrifice of our fallen soldiers and police officers in order to fulfill their duty to defend and protect the country from terrorists should not be forgotten and deserves the highest commendation'

generals involves in liberating Marawi City, (L-R), Lt. General Arnel de la Vega, commander of Western Mindanao Command, Lt. General Danilo Pamonag, former Special Operations Commander, Lt. General GALILEO GERARD KINTANAR JR Philippine Air Force commanding General, Lt General Rolando Joselito Bautista, Commanding General, Philippine Army. the Generals returned to Marawi City to pay tribute to the fallen soldiers in the liberation for Marawi City on May 24, 2018 inside Camp Ranao, the headquarters of the 103rd Infantry Brigade, 1st Infantry Battalion in Marawi City on May 24, 2018. with the generals are their subordinate generals who were also instumental in the liberation of Marawi City. (Photo by Bobby Lagsa/Rappler

LIST: Tito Sotto's accomplishments, bills signed into law

May 24, 2018 - 12:08 PM

New Senate President Vicente Sotto III is the most senior member of the chamber yet criticisms against him abound. What has he done in his two decades in the Senate?

Tito Sotto. Photo by Angie de Silva/Rappler

Sotto vows to campaign 'vigorously' for reelectionist senators in 2019

May 23, 2018 - 7:49 AM

'I’m not running in 2019. My term ends in 2022. I will be able to help those who we feel would be assets to the Senate,' Senate President Vicente Sotto III tells Rappler

2019 CAMPAIGN. Senate President Vicente Sotto III vows to campaign 'vigourously' for the 7 reelectionist senators.

Sotto says Senate 'cannot intervene' in SC decision on Sereno ouster

May 22, 2018 - 5:31 PM

We should not interfere with [the] judiciary. I believe that because I don't want the judiciary to interfere with us,' Senate President Vicente Sotto III tells Rappler

Sen. Tito Sotto. Photo by Angie de Silva/Rappler

PhilHealth OIC says she's out 'to protect people's money'

May 22, 2018 - 3:00 PM

'Let me assure you that I am here in PhilHealth... to ensure that every peso translates to better healthcare of our people,' says PhilHealth OIC Celestina de la Serna, who has been criticized for spending over P600,000 for travels in just a year in office

Photo by Camille Elemia/Rappler

Strengthened HIV-AIDS policy nears becoming a law

May 21, 2018 - 6:28 PM

The Senate and House approve the bill seeking to strengthen government policy on the prevention and control of HIV-AIDS

File photo by George Moya/Rappler

No more 'Eat Bulaga!' for Senate President Tito Sotto for now

May 21, 2018 - 4:10 PM

Sotto says he will take a break from the country's longest-running noontime television show, given his new role at the Senate

Tito Sotto takes oath as Senate President. Photo by Angie de Silva/Rappler

Tito Sotto elected as Senate president

May 21, 2018 - 3:41 PM

(UPDATED) Vicente Sotto III, who takes over from Aquilino Pimentel III, says he is 'deeply humbled and sincerely grateful' for the opportunity to lead the Senate 'at this critical and challenging time'

Senate: Sen. Sotto & Sen. Pimentel. Photo by Angie de Silva/Rappler

Koko Pimentel resigns as Senate president

May 21, 2018 - 12:01 PM

(3rd UPDATE) Aquilino Pimentel III nominates Vicente Sotto III as his successor, saying, 'This is an example of a peaceful and willing transfer of power in the Senate'

koko pimentel press con may 21. Photo by Angie de Silva/Rappler

Sotto as Senate president? Reorganization looms ahead of Duterte's SONA

May 18, 2018 - 1:26 AM

A draft resolution signed by 14 senators is leaked even as Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III denies there are efforts to replace him

OUSTER? Talks are rife Majority Leader Vicente Sotto III is set to replace Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III next week. Sourced photo

Congress authorizes NHA to redistribute Bulacan housing units

May 16, 2018 - 9:10 PM

The NHA can now award the empty housing units in Pandi, Bulacan to low-salaried government employees and poor families, including members of urban poor group Kadamay

HOUSING. Seen here are Kadamay members who had occupied the empty housing units in Pandi, Bulacan. File photo by Martin San Diego/Rappler

Past, present senators honor Ed Angara and his contributions to PH

May 16, 2018 - 3:04 PM

(UPDATED) Senators then and now recall the significant contributions of former Senate president Edgardo Angara to the country

Photo by Angie Silva/Rappler

Opposition seeks Senate's united stand on jurisdiction on Sereno

May 15, 2018 - 5:06 PM

Minority Leader Franklin Drilon says the proposed resolution is meant 'to inform the Supreme Court of the sentiment of the Senate insofar as the legal issue is concerned'

Senate Minority Leader Franklin M. Drilon on Tuesday, February 20, 2018, supported the motion of the Senate Ethics Committee rejecting the ethics case filed against detained Senator Leila de Lima by lawyer Abelardo de Jesus in September 2016, after President Rodrigo Duterte accused her of involvement in the narcotics trade. “She did not violate the Senate rules and it is not related to De Lima’s official function. We moved for the dismissal of the case without prejudice to reviving the case in the future," Drilon said. (PRIB Photo by Romeo Bugante/AYA/20 February 2018)

Senate grieves ex-Senate president Edgardo Angara's death

May 15, 2018 - 4:25 PM

(UPDATED) The Senate is set to hold a necrological service for its former leader on Wednesday, May 16

Senators want info drive amid public sentiments vs cha-cha, federalism

May 02, 2018 - 8:35 PM

Opposition senators say the government should listen to Filipinos' voices and instead focus on solving gut issues

Photo by Alex Nueva España/Senate

Alvarez says gov't must work harder to educate Filipinos on charter change

May 02, 2018 - 5:10 PM

In response to a Pulse Asia survey, Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez calls for an intensified information campaign to sway Filipinos who are against amending the 1987 Constitution

WARM WELCOME. Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez (L) and Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III greets supporters gathered at the University of Southeastern Philippines in Tagum City for a mass oath-taking on April 6, 2018.

'Walang bago': Makabayan lawmakers unimpressed with Duterte EO on endo

May 01, 2018 - 1:10 PM

'Reiteration lang 'yan ng existing labor laws that [have] been proven [to be] anti-worker,' says Anakpawis Representative Ariel Casilao

EO NOT ENOUGH? President Rodrigo Duterte is depicted as a devil during the Labor Day protest on May 1, 2018. Photo by Alecs Ongcal/Rappler

'Til divorce do us part?' PH struggles to marry religion and reality

Apr 21, 2018 - 10:00 PM

While there has been growing support for the passage of the divorce law, there is still no assurance from legislators that this would happen anytime soon

Lacson slams Gordon, likens mouth to 'incontinent anus'

Apr 17, 2018 - 6:43 PM

'Somebody who has a mouth like an incontinent anus with a defective sphincter pylori can indiscriminately destroy reputations,' says Senator Panfilo Lacson

'INCONTINENT ANUS.' Senator Panfilo Lacson slams Senator Richard Gordon for his 'unreasonable comments' against him.

Koko Pimentel files bill on cheaper political ads

Apr 12, 2018 - 3:10 PM

A similar bill was already passed on third and final reading in the House of Representatives

KOKO PIMENTEL. The PDP Laban Thanksgiving Party at the Midas Hotel and Casino in Pasay City on November 16, 2016. File Photo by Alecs Ongcal/Rappler

Aquino hits 'Dick Gordon show,' draft report on Dengvaxia

Apr 11, 2018 - 6:30 PM

'In legislative inquiries that I participated in, the process is [to] gather facts then arrive at a conclusion. The Dick Gordon show started with a conclusion and tried to produce facts to support it,' former president Benigno Aquino III tells Rappler

Former President Benigno Aquino III attends the Congress hearing on the controversial Dengvaxia vaccine on February 26, 2018. Photo by LeAnne Jazul/Rappler

Alvarez wants House to impeach Sereno in May

Apr 11, 2018 - 2:00 PM

But Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez also says the impeachment proceedings would become moot and academic if the Supreme Court approves the quo warranto petition against Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno

SERENO OUSTER. Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez is set on having the House of Representatives impeach Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno next month. File photo from House

Makabayan bloc asks SC to allow intervention in petition vs Sereno

Apr 10, 2018 - 1:10 PM

The House Makabayan bloc argues that the quo warranto petition seeking to void the Chief Justice's appointment would cause them to be 'deprived of their collective right' to bring the impeachment process to a 'logical conclusion'

EMBATTLED CHIEF JUSTICE. Supreme Court Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno delivers a speech during the Araw ng Kagitingan on April 9, 2018. Photo by Angie de Silva

Rappler Talk: Is the Philippines ready for federalism?

Apr 09, 2018 - 1:40 PM

Is federalism fundamentally problematic for the Philippines, or is it simply not the right time?

I still do: Alvarez won't give up on divorce bill

Apr 08, 2018 - 4:45 PM

House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez says there are 'ongoing' talks to make sure the controversial divorce bill will see the light of day

HOUSE SPEAKER. Alvarez continues to push for the passage of the divorce law. Photo courtesy of the House media bureau

13 senators sign panel report approving bill vs dynasties

Mar 22, 2018 - 3:26 PM

The bill covers spouses, siblings, parents, and children; and the spouses of these second-degree relatives

19 senators call for protection of Senate speeches amid Trillanes case

Mar 21, 2018 - 5:44 PM

'The Senate must thwart any attempt to diminish its members' constitutionally guaranteed right to parliamentary immunity,' 19 senators say in filing Senate Resolution No. 697

The Senate committee on public order and dangerous drugs headed by Sen. Panfilo Lacson on March 6, 2017 investigating the existence of the Davao Death Squad.

Senate reprimands Aguirre for private meeting with Jack Lam

Mar 20, 2018 - 8:10 PM

The Senate says Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II was 'less than prudent' when he met with individuals who turned out to be allegedly involved in bribery

Sen. Gordon with voluminous documents Photo by Angie de Silva

After 17 years, construction of Senate building moves forward

Mar 20, 2018 - 5:38 PM

The Senate has agreed to pay a maximum of P90,000 per square meter for a 18,320-square meter lot in Fort Bonifacio

PASAY TO TAGUIG. The Senate transfer to its 'new, iconic' building in Taguig moves forward. Photo from Wikimedia Commons

Landmark coco levy trust fund bill hurdles Congress

Mar 19, 2018 - 7:38 PM

Senate Bill 1233 places the management of the fund under a reconstituted Philippine Coconut Authority – the agency that was responsible for the misuse of the funds in the 1970s

File Photo by Camille Elemia/Rappler

Lawmakers form group to push for human rights in House agenda

Mar 19, 2018 - 4:40 PM

Consisting of lawmakers 'who have crossed party lines,' Mambabatas Para Sa Karapatang Pantao (Makatao) aims to speed up the legislative process for human rights measures in the Philippines

'Sequel to Corona': 7 articles of impeachment readied vs Sereno

Mar 15, 2018 - 7:45 PM

The House justice committee will vote on the committee report on Monday, March 19

Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno visit law student in University of Baguio . Photo by Mau victa

De Lima medical test shows 'benign' liver mass

Mar 14, 2018 - 11:30 AM

Detained Senator Leila de Lima assures supporters there is 'nothing to worry about,' adding there is no need for an operation

Police escort detained Senator Leila De LIma inside the Philippine Hearth Center for a medical checkup on March 12, 2018

Drilon praises Bong Go's basketball skills: 'Magaling talaga'

Mar 13, 2018 - 5:36 PM

Senators Ralph Recto and Franklin Drilon joke that Special Assistant to the President Bong Go wants to run for the Senate so he could join the winning Senate Defenders basketball team

Photo from Bong Go

Senate honors Freddie Aguilar for 'lifetime contributions' to PH arts

Mar 13, 2018 - 4:05 PM

Singer-composer Freddie Aguilar is a known supporter of President Rodrigo Duterte

SENATE LAUDS FREDDIE AGUILAR: Senate President Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III (right) presents a copy of Senate Resolution 658 recognizing Filipino singer and composer Freddie “Anak” Aguilar (2nd, left) for his “lifetime outstanding contributions to Philippine arts and culture,” Tuesday, March 13, 2018. Aguilar was accompanied by his wife, Jovie Aguilar (left). (PRIB Photo by Joseph Vidal/AYA/13 March 2018)

Additional P44B to P72B needed for federalism shift – gov't think tank

Mar 13, 2018 - 2:50 PM

The Philippine Institute for Development Studies' estimate is conservative, as it assumes that the existing bureaucracy will not require any additional costs

Photo from PIDS website

New charter should ban Duterte reelection 'to protect democracy'

Mar 13, 2018 - 1:30 PM

A UP professor doubts President Rodrigo Duterte's vow not to extend his term, saying it is like his 'campaign promise to ride a jet ski to the Spratlys'

Photo by Camille Elemia/Rappler

Senate: 'Physically impossible' to OK barangay polls postponement

Mar 13, 2018 - 11:21 AM

Congress has only 5 session days left, as it is set to go on break from March 24 to May 13. The elections are scheduled on May 14.

Recto hit for 'excluding' coconut farmers from coco levy bill

Mar 13, 2018 - 8:15 AM

'Pera na nga namin, maglo-lobby pa kami? Pera na nga namin, makikiusap pa kami?' says Ed Mora, lead convenor of the Kilusang Magniniyog, on the need for congressional approval before use of coco levy funds

Photo by Camille Elemia/Rappler

Gordon orders release of Faeldon from detention

Mar 12, 2018 - 11:38 AM

(UPDATED) Senate blue ribbon committee chair Richard Gordon orders the release of Nicanor Faeldon, who was earlier cited in contempt for disrespecting the Senate

Photo by Angie de Silva

Christian groups troop to Senate vs landmark SOGIE bill

Mar 07, 2018 - 5:50 PM

Senate Majority Leader Vicente Sotto III, a conservative, says the bill is practically dead in the 17th Congress

Photo by Camille Elemia/Rappler

Sotto seeks Senate probe into alleged poll fraud in 2016

Mar 06, 2018 - 4:10 PM

Senate Majority Leader Vicente Sotto III, citing his source, alleges that there was early transmission of votes and foreign access to election servers

Senate Hearing PCSO on February 12. Photo by Angie de Silva/Rappler

Senate leaders slam 'unconstitutional' petition to oust Sereno

Mar 05, 2018 - 5:20 PM

Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III says Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno can only be removed through impeachment, while Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon says the petition is 'a slippery slope'

Senate committee seeks to ban dynasties, turncoatism in Bangsamoro

Feb 28, 2018 - 6:14 PM

Read the other salient features of the Senate's proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law, which seeks to give political and fiscal autonomy to the region

LANDMARK MEASURE. Photo taken during the Senate consultations in Tawi-Tawi on February 8, 2018. File Photo by Angie de Silva/Rappler

Senate nominates Whang-od for National Living Treasures Award

Feb 27, 2018 - 4:55 PM

Also known as the Gawad sa Manlilikha ng Bayan, the award is the highest honor given by the state to traditional folk artists

AWARD. The Senate nominates Apo Whang-od Oggay for the National Living Treasures Award. File photo by Ben Nabong/Rappler

Senate now in 'preparation mode' for Sereno impeachment trial

Feb 27, 2018 - 4:42 PM

(UPDATED) Senate Majority Leader Vicente Sotto III says the chamber might convene as an impeachment court by May but the trial might start end July

Photo by Camille Elemia/Rappler

Senators, NFA Council blame Jason Aquino for NFA rice price hike

Feb 27, 2018 - 2:39 PM

Senators and the inter-agency National Food Authority Council say NFA Chief Jason Aquino caused panic among traders and consumers alike

Senate Hearin on Rice Shortage February 27 2018. Photo by Angie de Silva/Rappler