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Gloria Arroyo: 'Strategic direction' is to fully support Duterte

Aug 10, 2016 - 3:43 PM

Pampanga 2nd District Representative Gloria Arroyo says she supports the legislative agenda of President Rodrigo Duterte including the reimposition of the death penalty which was abolished during her presidency

BACK TO VMMC. Former president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and Veterans Memorial Medical Center director Nona Legaspi during the signing of a deed donation on August 10. Arroyo donates two dialysis machines, two beds, and an air-conditioning unit to the hospital where she was detained for almost 4 years. Photo by Joel Liporada/Rappler

Gloria Arroyo set to be named Deputy Speaker

Aug 10, 2016 - 2:28 PM

Pampanga 2nd District Representative Gloria Arroyo is set to represent Central Luzon under a new deputy speakership format eyed in Congress in preparation for the proposed shift to federalism

NEW DEPUTY SPEAKER. Pampanga 2nd District Representative Gloria Arroyo gets a top House post in the 17th Congress. Photo by Mara Cepeda

Duterte vs Sereno, Marcos burial, Michael Phelps | 12PM wRap

Aug 10, 2016 - 1:04 PM

Watch the 12PM wRap with Chay Hofileña

Lagman: Marcos' burial at Libingan an 'undeserved reward'

Aug 09, 2016 - 9:00 PM

The Libingan ng mga Bayani is the hallowed graveyard for heroes and patriots not of despots and plunderers says Albay 1st District Representative Edcel Lagman

NO TO MARCOS BURIAL AT LIBINGAN. Albay 1st District Representative Edcel Lagman delivers a privilege speech on August 9. Photo by Rappler

Con-Com EO for federalism being drafted – Alvarez

Aug 09, 2016 - 6:49 PM

Senate President Pimentel supports the formation of a Constitutional Commission saying it would help Congress save time as it focuses on other legislation

House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez

Congress to prioritize 2017 budget before Con-Ass

Aug 09, 2016 - 4:30 PM

House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez says he has no problem with senators interpretation that both chambers would have to vote separately to amend the Constitution

MEETING ON CHA-CHA. House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez and Senate President Koko Pimentel lead a meeting among top leaders of the 17th Congress on August 9. Photo by Mara Cepeda/Rappler

Death penalty method? 'Whatever is cheaper' – Alvarez

Aug 09, 2016 - 4:08 PM

Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez says there should be no debate on the methods of execution since they all mean the same thing – the death of the convict

PRO-DEATH PENALTY. House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez supports the reimposition of the death penalty for heinous crimes. Photo by Mara Cepeda/Rappler

Salceda wants Trump banned from PH over 'terrorist nation' tag

Aug 08, 2016 - 9:00 PM

Albay 2nd District Representative Joey Salceda files a resolution seeking to bar Donald Trump from entering the country after the Republican presidential candidate called the Philippines a terrorist nation

House deputy speakers open to drug testing for lawmakers

Aug 08, 2016 - 8:00 PM

For now the House Majority Floor Leader says lawmakers or House employees who wish to undergo drug testing may do so on their own

OPEN TO DRUG TEST. Deputy House Speakers Eric Singson, Mercedes Alvarez, Fredenil Castro, and Miro Quimbo hold a press conference on August 8. Photo by Mara Cepeda/Rappler

To bury Marcos at Libingan is to bury martial law 'atrocities' – lawmakers

Aug 08, 2016 - 6:30 PM

We seem to equate moving on with forgetting the evils of martial law and extolling those who perpetuated it says Ifugao Representative Teddy Baguilat Jr

House has 'no jurisdiction' over mayor-turned-congressman on Duterte list

Aug 08, 2016 - 5:15 PM

Deputy Speaker Miro Quimbo also says House leaders have yet to discuss their plans should the President accuse an incumbent lawmaker of involvement in drugs

DUTERTE'S LIST. President Rodrigo Duterte tagged Pangasinan 1st District Representative Boying Celeste as among the officials allegedly part of the drug trade.

House leaders: Marcos' burial will not wash away sins of martial law

Aug 08, 2016 - 4:40 PM

Kung akala ng mga tao ay nagbibigay ito ng katahimikan sa mga kasong dapat kaharapin ng mga Marcos nagkakamali sila says House Deputy Speaker Miro Quimbo

LAW PREVAILS ON MARCOS BURIAL. Deputy House Speakers Eric Singson, Mercedes Alvarez, Fredenil Castro, and Miro Quimbo hold a press conference on August 8. Photo by Mara Cepeda/Rappler

Lawmaker wants DSWD to use unclaimed lotto prizes

Aug 06, 2016 - 1:38 PM

At present unclaimed lotto prizes go to the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office PCSO charity fund providing medical assistance to poor patients

BETTER USE OF FUNDS? A version of HB Number 5257 was first filed in December 2014, but it was not passed into law.

Fariñas: Suspension of lawmaking for Con-Ass 'not fatal'

Aug 05, 2016 - 2:25 PM

You are talking about divorce you are talking about death penalty E paano kung sa bagong Constitution bawal pala ‘yun? Sayang lang ang ginawa mong batas says House Majority Leader Rodolfo Fariñas

STOP PASSING BILLS? House Majority Floor Leader Rudy Fariñas is in favor of temporarily stopping legislation for charter change. File photo by Rappler

House to appoint more deputy speakers to prepare for federalism

Aug 04, 2016 - 7:51 PM

The Lower House plans to increase its deputy speakers from 5 to 12 They will represent the regions should the Philippines become a federal state

PRO-FEDERALISM. The leadership at the House of Representatives is in favor of shifting to federalism, just like President Rodrigo Duterte. File photo by Mark R. Cristino/EPA

Quimbo wants to lower corporate income tax to 25%

Aug 04, 2016 - 11:46 AM

Deputy Speaker Miro Quimbo also authors a measure seeking to adjust individual income tax to inflation

LOWER TAXES. Deputy House Speaker Miro Quimbo files bills seeking to lower personal income and corporate taxes. Photo by Mara Cepeda/Rappler

Lawmaker wants fast Con-Ass to make Con-Com new Cha-Cha mode

Aug 03, 2016 - 8:30 PM

Davao Oriental 2nd District Representative Joel Mayo Almario wants Congress to approve the creation of a Constitutional Commission as another legal mode for Charter Change

CON-COM FOR CHA-CHA. Davao Oriental 2nd District Representative Joel Mayo Almario wants charter change through a Constitutional Commission. Photo of Almario from his Facebook page

Bill wants to ban karaoke, loud sound systems after 10 pm

Aug 03, 2016 - 6:02 PM

Quezon 4th District Representative Angelina Tan says karaoke systems are one of the major sources of noise pollution in residential areas

KARAOKE BAN. A lawmaker wants to ban the use of karaoke systems after 10 pm to reduce noise pollution in the country.

Congress vows to 'work day and night' as Constituent Assembly

Aug 03, 2016 - 4:36 PM

The deputy speakers say the House of Representatives can its working hours so members can equally focus on legislation and amending the 1987 Constitution

'WE CAN DO IT.' Deputy House Speakers Raneo Abu, Miro Quimbo, and Fredenil Castro assure that the 17th Congress can handle convening as a Constituent Assembly. Photo by Mara Cepeda/Rappler

For the 5th time, Gabriela files divorce bill

Aug 03, 2016 - 4:02 PM

It is high time that the state give couples in abusive and irreparable marriages the option to divorce says Representative Emmi de Jesus

Belmonte eyed to lead new House committee on West PH Sea

Aug 03, 2016 - 2:46 PM

House Majority Floor Leader Rudy Fariñas hopes former Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr s strong sense of nationalism will make him accept the job

Lawmaker wants emergency hotline prank callers penalized

Aug 02, 2016 - 8:20 PM

Muntinlupa Representative Ruffy Biazon files the Anti Prank Caller Act after the 911 hotline received 1 119 dropped calls and 304 prank calls on its first day of implementation

NO TO PRANK CALLERS. Muntinlupa Representative Ruffy Biazon wants to penalize prank callers of the 911 hotline.

Filipinos vs Cha-Cha teach Congress they can disagree with Duterte – lawmakers

Aug 02, 2016 - 2:45 PM

The legitimate and real House minority bloc says they prefer to amend the Constitution through a Constitutional Convention purely elected by the people

'LEGITIMATE AND REAL MINORITY.' Six of the 8 members of the so-called "legitimate and real" House minority bloc call a press conference on August 2. From left to right: Caloocan 2nd District Representative Edgar Erice, 1-SAGIP Representative Rodante Marcoleta, Albay 1st District Representative Edcel Lagman, Akbayan Representative Tom Villarin, Magdalo Representative Gary Alejano, and Capiz 1st District Representative Emmanuel Billones. Photo by Mara Cepeda/Rappler

Con-Con won’t guarantee election of 'right people' – Alvarez

Aug 02, 2016 - 11:38 AM

In defending the Constituent Assembly Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez says all elections – even the polls for Constitutional Convention delegates – may be influenced by big businessmen and other vested interests

PUSHING FOR CHACHA. Like his party mate President Rodrigo Duterte, House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez supports a Constituent Assembly to pave the way for federalism. File photo by Alecs Ongcal/Rappler

Ex-drug addict-turned-congressman proposes ‘cheap’ rehab program

Aug 02, 2016 - 9:00 AM

Negros Oriental congressman Arnolfo Teves Jr proposes using public high school classrooms as rehabilitation centers from 5 pm to 8 pm

LIST: House committee chairmanships of the 17th Congress

Aug 01, 2016 - 8:15 PM

UPDATED House Majority Leader Rudy Fariñas heads the Committee on Rules while Davao City 1st District Representative Karlo Nograles now chairs the Committee on Appropriations

HOUSE COMMITTEES. The House of Representatives names more committee heads on August 1. Photo by Mara Cepeda/Rappler

Abolish us? Party-list representatives: 'We're not all bad'

Aug 01, 2016 - 4:00 PM

Akbayan Representative Tom Villarin says party lists have helped pass landmark legislation in the past including the Reproductive Health Law the Sangguniang Kabataan Reform Law and the Philippine Competition Act

BYE-BYE PARTY LISTS? ACTS-OFW Representative John Bertiz and AKO Bicol Representative Alfredo Garbin Jr weigh in on the proposal to abolish the party-list system. Photo by Mara Cepeda/Rappler

The pet bills of President Duterte

Aug 01, 2016 - 10:00 AM

Duterte did not mention in his first SONA two bills that his top allies in the 17th Congress declared they would prioritize: the reimposition of the death penalty and the lowering to 15 years the minimum age of criminal responsibility

President Rodrigo Duterte delivers his State of the Nation Address, as Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III and House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez listen. Photo by Francis R. Malasig/EPA

Pantaleon Alvarez, Duterte’s lieutenant at the House

Jul 30, 2016 - 9:00 AM

The man behind Rodrigo Duterte s rise to the presidency plans to leave a mark as the new Speaker of the House of Representatives

HOUSE SPEAKER. The challenge ahead for new House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez is tremendous, but he is undaunted. Photo by Alecs Ongcal/Rappler

Ex-Gloria Arroyo allies nab top posts in House

Jul 30, 2016 - 8:00 AM

The House Speaker Minority Floor Leader and a Deputy Speaker once held appointive positions when Gloria Arroyo was still president

THE ARROYO CONNECTION. Former president Gloria Arroyo previously gave government positions to House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez, Deputy Speaker Miro Quimbo, and House Minority Leader Danilo Suarez.

Lawmakers warn vs abuse of power under Constituent Assembly

Jul 29, 2016 - 1:30 PM

A [Constituent] Assembly under a supermajority in both chambers of Congress is like having zombies to rewrite our Constitution says Akbayan Representative Tom Villarin

FEDERALISM CHAMPION. In his first State of the Nation Address, President Rodrigo Duterte urges Filipinos to have a federal parliamentary form of government. Photo by Ace Morandante/PPD

Lagman’s counter-SONA: Death penalty is ‘anti-poor’

Jul 27, 2016 - 7:19 PM

Albay 1st District Representative Edcel Lagman opposes the death penalty lowering the minimum age of criminal responsibility and the shift to federalism

COUNTER-SONA. Albay 1st District Representative Edcel Lagman delivers his counter to President Rodrigo Duterte's State of the Nation Address on July 27. Photo by Mara Cepeda/Rappler

Gloria Arroyo files bill seeking amnesty for communists

Jul 27, 2016 - 6:01 PM

The ex rebel’s firearms need to be turned over to authorities within 30 days upon the filing of his or her amnesty according to the Pampanga congresswoman s bill

BACK TO WORK. After being cleared from plunder, Pampanga 2nd District Representative Gloria Arroyo returns to work in the 17th Congress. Photo by Mark R. Cristino/EPA

Baguilat's allies to protest Suarez's minority leadership before SC

Jul 27, 2016 - 2:20 PM

Itong gawain ng supermajority ay gawain ng mga trapo We are turning the House of Representatives into a House of trapos says Northern Samar 1st District Representative Raul Daza

PROTEST VS SUAREZ. Representatives Gary Alejano, Edgar Erice, Teddy Baguilat Jr, Edcel Lagman, Raul Daza, Tom Villarin, Rodante Marcoleta (not in photo), and Emmanuel Billones (not in photo) to challenge win of House Minority Leader Danilo Suarez. Photo by Mara Cepeda/Rappler

Danilo Suarez elected as House minority leader

Jul 27, 2016 - 11:01 AM

UPDATED Quezon 3rd District Representative Danilo Suarez gets 22 votes while 3 abstain in the House minority bloc s elections

Photo by Mara Cepeda/Rappler

House supermajority rejects Baguilat's claim as minority leader

Jul 26, 2016 - 10:24 PM

Albay 1st District Representative Edcel Lagman delivers a privilege speech in a bid for the Lower House to recognize Ifugao Representative Teddy Baguilat Jr as minority leader

STILL NO MINORITY LEADER. The House supermajority refuses to recognize Ifugao Representative Teddy Baguilat Jr's claim on the minority leadership. Photo by Mara Cepeda/Rappler

What bills have been refiled in the 17th Congress?

Jul 26, 2016 - 3:32 PM

Lawmakers in the 17th Congress refile bills that languished in the past including measures pushing for freedom of information ending political dynasties and increasing the pension for SSS members

LEGISLATIVE AGENDA. Senate President Koko Pimentel and House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez listens to President Rodrigo Duterte as he delivers his first State of the Nation Address on July 25. Photo by Francis R. Malasig/EPA

Congressman Baguilat: I am the House minority leader

Jul 26, 2016 - 3:20 PM

UPDATED Ifugao Representative Teddy Baguilat Jr wants to be declared as House minority leader during the House session on July 26

MINORITY LEADER? During the 17th Congress' opening session, Ifugao Representative Teddy Baguilat was reluctant on winning the House minority leadership. A day later, he plans to fight for the position. Photo by Mara Cepeda/Rappler

Tiangco leaves UNA over minority leadership row

Jul 26, 2016 - 7:15 AM

UPDATED Navotas Representative Toby Tiangco says he could not accept that his party mates would participate in game fixing the House minority leadership race

PRESIDENT NO MORE. Navotas Representative Toby Tiangco quits the United Nationalist Alliance. Photo by Mara Cepeda/Rappler

Pantaleon Alvarez is new House Speaker

Jul 25, 2016 - 1:11 PM

4th UPDATE Davao del Norte 1st District Representative Pantaleon Alvarez clinches a landslide victory with 251 votes

NEW HOUSE SPEAKER. PDP-Laban stalwart and Davao del Norte 1st District Representative Pantaleon Alvarez is sworn in as House Speaker on July 25, 2016. Rappler screenshot

Belmonte drops bid for House minority leader

Jul 23, 2016 - 7:49 PM

Days before the start of the 17th Congress a majority of LP members in the Lower House are set to join PDP Laban s supermajority bloc

Outgoing House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr foregoes his bid for the minority leadership and now wants the Liberal Party to join the supermajority bloc. File photo by Ben Nabong/Rappler

Alvarez to PDP-Laban lawmakers: Bring back trust in Congress

Jul 22, 2016 - 8:02 PM

In the Pulse Asia survey released on April 4 the House of Representatives registered the lowest approval rating top government institutions

THE SPEAKER AND SENATE PRESIDENT. Presumptive House Speaker Bebot Alvarez and incoming Senate President Koko Pimentel, PDP-Laban stalwarts, are expected to take the reins at the 17th Congress. Photo by Ben Nabong/Rappler

Bye, PDP-Laban: LP to join minority bloc in House

Jul 19, 2016 - 5:55 PM

The Liberal Party the former ruling party only has around 30 to 35 members left in the House of Representatives

LOOK: Batasan prepares for SONA 2016

Jul 19, 2016 - 7:45 AM

On July 25 President Rodrigo Duterte will deliver his first State of the Nation Address

CLEANING. A man soaps a chair to be used during Duterte's first SONA. Photo by Mara Cepeda/Rappler

Pacquiao top absentee in Congress

Jul 18, 2016 - 8:30 PM

UPDATED Records from the past Congress show that aside from then Sarangani Representative Pacquiao 27 lawmakers attended 10 or less session days

FROM CONGRESS TO SENATE. Manny Pacquiao got the 7th highest number of votes in the 2016 senatorial race at 16.05 million. File photo by Alecs Ongcal/Rappler

Lawmaker wants farmers’ irrigation fees scrapped

Jul 16, 2016 - 2:00 PM

House Bill 558 seeks to ease the burdens of Filipino farmers and make them more productive

NO MORE FEES? Cebu 1st District Representative Raul del Mar wants to remove a burden off the shoulders of Filipino farmers. File photo by Jay Directo/AFP

Duterte’s war vs drugs has 2 faces – lawmaker

Jul 14, 2016 - 12:31 PM

Ifugao Representative Teddy Baguilar Jr says past congressional probes helped the Ombudsman determine cases to be filed against erring public officials

'LET CONGRESS PROBE.' Ifugao Representative Teddy Baguilat Jr defends his call for a congressional probe against drug-related extrajudicial killings on July 14. Photo by Mara Cepeda/Rappler

LP to seal coalition with PDP-Laban ‘by next week’ – Alvarez

Jul 13, 2016 - 6:36 PM

LP member Ifugao Representative Teddy Baguilat Jr says the Liberal Party members will finalize their decision in a meeting on July 14

Incoming House Speaker Alvarez: No pork on my watch

Jul 12, 2016 - 8:06 PM

But every congressman may propose up to P50M worth of hard projects or infrastructure and P30M for soft projects like scholarships and livelihood assistance

NO PORK. Davao del Norte 1st District Representative Bebot Alvarez denies the return of the pork barrel in the 17th Congress. File photo by Mara Cepeda/Rappler

Lawmakers hail ruling on Philippines' case vs China

Jul 12, 2016 - 6:12 PM

UPDATED Legislators at the House of Representatives are elated by the Philippines historic win against China over the West Philippine Sea dispute

HISTORIC. Lawmakers at the House of Representatives weigh in on the historic ruling on the West Philippine Sea dispute. File photo by Ben Nabong/Rappler