Senate of the Philippines news and updates

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Senate approves bill lifting rice import limits

Nov 14, 2018 - 10:30 PM

If the rice tariffication bill is passed into law, a Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund would be created to protect the rice industry from sudden or extreme price fluctuations

APPROVED. Rice tariffication is one of the means identified that would help address soaring inflation. File photo by Angie de Silva/Rappler

Senate OKs bill creating Philippine Cancer Center

Nov 12, 2018 - 5:51 PM

If it becomes law, the bill will require PhilHealth and all health maintenance organizations to cover cancer screening and treatment, among others

Senate: Plenary Session. Photo by Angie de Silva/Rappler

Hontiveros seeks Senate probe into Miss Earth sexual harassment issue

Nov 12, 2018 - 4:25 PM

'Sexual harassment has no place anywhere, especially in a pageant that claims to uphold the value and power of women,' says Senator Risa Hontiveros

NO TO DROP BOXES. Senator Risa Hontiveros threatens to dissolve the budget allotted for the DILG's community-based thrust against crime and drugs: Masa Masid. File photo from Hontiveros' Facebook page

Senators expect 'silent workhorse' Honasan to do well in DICT

Nov 09, 2018 - 3:34 PM

Senators say the immediate challenge of Senator Gregorio Honasan II as DICT chief is to assure Filipinos that the third telco would not jeopardize national security

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte engages in a discussion with Senator Gregorio Honasan and other members of the Reform the Armed Forces Movement (RAM) during a meeting at the Malacañan Palace on August 16, 2017. Malacañan Photo

SC to act on Calida attempt to stop Senate probe

Nov 08, 2018 - 4:45 PM

Solicitor General Jose Calida refuses to participate in a Senate investigation into his family firm's government contracts, saying it is illegal and serves no legislative purpose

SECURITY FIRM. Solicitor General Jose Calida has a pending petition before the Supreme Court questioning the legality of a Senate investigation that seeks to look into the propriety of his security firm bagging government contracts worth at least P358 million. Photo by LeAnne Jazul/Rappler

Opposition senators seek probe into Sagay farmers' massacre

Nov 08, 2018 - 10:40 AM

(UPDATED) 'This is not an isolated case as it only reflects the prevailing situation in many farmlands around the country,' says the 6-member Senate minority bloc

BLOODIED LAND. Gunmen kill 9 farmers occupying a space of Hacienda Nene in Sagay City, Negros Occidental. Photos from PNP Western Visayas

Group opposes bill dividing Palawan into 3 provinces

Nov 07, 2018 - 10:49 AM

'The division of Palawan is not the appropriate answer to the existing weak governance, corruption, and natural resource use issues in the province,' says the Save Palawan Movement

3 PALAWAN PROVINCES? The image shows lawmakers' proposed division of Palawan into 3 provinces

After 7 weeks in Senate, Jimmy Guban to be turned over to DOJ

Oct 30, 2018 - 3:02 PM

Former Customs intelligence officer Jimmy Guban has been detained in the Senate compound since September 11, after he was cited in contempt for his inconsistent statements on the missing P11-billion shabu shipment

STATE WITNESS SOON. Jimmy Guban, former intelligence officer of the BOC at the Senate hearing into the missing P11-billion shabu shipment. Photo by Angie de Silva/Rappler

Lapeña no-show in Senate P11-B shabu probe

Oct 30, 2018 - 12:35 PM

(UPDATED) Senator Richard Gordon says ex-Customs chief Isidro Lapeña cited his turn over to his successor as reason for his absence but the ceremony is scheduled a day after the Senate hearing

EX-CUSTOMS CHIEF. Former Customs Commissioner Isidro Lapena skips the Senate hearing on the missing P11-billion shabu shipment on October 30, 2018. File photo by Angie de Silva/Rappler

Gordon to Malacañang: Clarify role of military in Customs

Oct 30, 2018 - 11:57 AM

'Dapat ilinaw muna ng Malacañang kung anong gagawin ng military,' says Senator Richard Gordon even as he defended President Rodrigo Duterte's order for the military to take over a civilian agency

SENATE PROBE ON MISSING DRUGS. Senator Richard Gordon, chairman of the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee, presides the hearing on the missing shabu shipment on October 30, 2018. Photo by Angie de Silva/Rappler

LIVE: Senate hearing on P11B worth shabu slipping past Customs

Oct 30, 2018 - 10:45 AM

The blue ribbon committee looks into the biggest shabu smuggling controversy to hit the Duterte administration. Watch the hearing live on Tuesday, October 30

Senate won't turn over 'witness' Jimmy Guban to authorities

Oct 25, 2018 - 9:51 AM

(5th UPDATE) Ex-Customs intelligence officer Jimmy Guban will remain under the Senate's protective custody pending approval of a request to place him and his family under the DOJ's Witness Protection Program

PROTECTIVE CUSTODY. Sen Richard Gordon (right), blue ribbon committee chair, says Jimmy Guban (left) will be under the Senate's protective custody pending approval of a request for admission into the government's Witness Protection Program. Photo by Camille Elemia/Rappler

PNP plans to take Jimmy Guban from Senate without arrest warrant

Oct 24, 2018 - 9:21 PM

The Philippine National Police will send the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group to take Jimmy Guban from the Senate

SHABU SHIPMENT. Customs intelligence agent Jimmy Guban, who was cited in contempt by Senator Richard Gordon. File photo by Angie de Silva/Rappler

Senate eyes 6-month fuel tax hike suspension in 2019

Oct 24, 2018 - 2:35 PM

(UPDATED) Senator Sherwin Gatchalian says the suspension would enable consumers to adjust from the higher prices being experienced in 2018

Senators divided over Arroyo's push for PH withdrawal from IPU

Oct 23, 2018 - 12:50 PM

'Arroyo’s proposal is despairing, defeatist, and will be seen by the world as a tacit admission that indeed critical lawmakers are being persecuted under the Duterte administration,' Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon says

Senate: Plenary Session. Photo by Angie de Silva/Rappler

The class of 2019: Where are graduating senators going?

Oct 22, 2018 - 8:00 PM

Four senators are leaving the chamber in mid-2019: Loren Legarda, Gregorio Honasan II, Francis Escudero, and Antonio Trillanes IV. Here are their plans.

GRADUATING SENATORS. Three administration allies and one opposition senator are set to leave the Senate in 2019.

Poe to 3rd telco bidders: Don't delay selection process

Oct 22, 2018 - 4:35 PM

Senator Grace Poe says companies vying to become the 3rd telecommunications player can complain before the courts, but must not be a cause of delay for the selection process

Global lawmakers' group eyes visit to PH for Trillanes case

Oct 21, 2018 - 6:48 PM

The Inter-Parliamentary Union suspects a 'targeted attempt to silence' Senator Antonio Trillanes IV, one of the fiercest critics of President Rodrigo Duterte

FACT-FINDING. The Inter-Parliamentary Union wants to visit the Philippines for a fact-finding mission into the case of Senator Antonio Trillanes IV. Trillanes photo by Angie de Silva/Rappler

WATCH: Senate hearing on 3rd telco selection

Oct 21, 2018 - 4:05 PM

Watch the hearing live on Rappler on Monday, October 22

Gov't institutions' satisfaction ratings up in September 2018 – SWS

Oct 20, 2018 - 1:40 PM

The Senate, House of Representatives, Supreme Court, and Cabinet all get 'good' net satisfaction ratings in the latest Social Weather Stations survey

Duterte on frigates issue, Michael Yang, Harry and Meghan | Evening wRap

Oct 19, 2018 - 10:33 PM

Watch Rappler's evening wRap

HOAX: Franklin Drilon death hoax

Oct 19, 2018 - 3:24 PM

The senator is still alive

De Lima calls on Senate to investigate Michael Yang

Oct 19, 2018 - 1:20 PM

'The nature and scope of his influence over foreign policy [must] be fully disclosed,' says detained Senator Leila de Lima

CLOSE TIES? Michael Yang, who reportedly identifies himself as President Rodrigo Duterte's economic adviser, has been photographed in top-level presidential events.  Screenshot from the Philippine Full Win Group of Companies website


Minority senators seek Senate probe into spate of Cebu killings

Oct 11, 2018 - 12:33 PM

'As duty bearers, the PNP must observe proper operational procedures in order to fulfill the organization’s obligation with respect to human rights-based policing,' says the Senate opposition bloc

File photo

De Lima denounces media ban in court hearings

Oct 11, 2018 - 11:23 AM

'The authorities are getting more and more unreasonable in restricting media access to my court proceedings and any of my public outings, for that matter,' says detained Senator Leila de Lima

HEARING. Under heavy security, opposition Senator Leila de Lima leaves the Quezon City Metropolitan Trial Court Branch 34 courtroom after the prosecution failed to present its witness on October 4. The hearing is reset to November 7. Photo from Senator De Lima's office

Senate approves universal health care bill

Oct 10, 2018 - 9:15 PM

But the measure is still far from being enacted as lawmakers will have reconcile the different provisions of the Senate and House of Representatives versions

PUBLIC HEALTH. Nurses tend to a woman at the Jose Reyes Memorial Medical Center in Manila. File photo by AFP

Gordon tells Customs chief: Fire your officials, they're 'incompetent'

Oct 10, 2018 - 5:10 PM

'Incompetent ang mga tao mo, palitan mo 'yan. Mapapahamak ka,' Senator Richard Gordon says to Bureau of Customs chief Isidro Lapeña

REPLACEMENT TIME. Senator Richard Gordon advises Bureau of Customs chief Isidro Lapeña to choose the officials he works with wisely. File photo by LeAnne Jazul/Rappler

Opposition senators seek suspension of fuel tax

Oct 10, 2018 - 3:55 PM

Minority senators are hopeful that their colleagues will support the initiative this time

FUEL TAX. The Senate minority bloc filed a joint resolution seeking to suspend excise taxes on fuel under the TRAIN law. Photo by Angie de Silva/Rappler

'Dead on arrival': Senate leaders reject Arroyo's draft charter

Oct 09, 2018 - 1:33 PM

'We don't have time to even talk about it,' says Senate President Vicente Sotto III, who stands to benefit from the House proposal

Senate approves bill requiring car safety seats for kids on final reading

Oct 09, 2018 - 1:21 PM

Under Senate Bill 1971, children aged 12 and below cannot be left unattended inside a vehicle

APPROVED. Senate approves the bill requiring child restraints in private vehicles. Rappler file photo

Senators' election plans bog down Trabaho bill – think tank

Oct 08, 2018 - 9:44 PM

The Action for Economic Reforms says Senator Sonny Angara can pass on the Trabaho bill to other lawmakers if he fears the measure will hurt his reelection bid

Senate approves bill to detect eye problems among pre-school children

Oct 08, 2018 - 9:31 PM

Senate Bill 1706 also creates a fund for research on eye diseases and treatment

EYE CHECK UP. Should Senate Bill 1706 be passed, children will be screened for eye problems in kindergarten. Photo from Shutterstock

PWDs may soon receive mandatory PhilHealth coverage

Oct 08, 2018 - 8:53 PM

The House of Representatives approves its version of the bill on October 8, while the Senate already gave its nod to the measure in July

UNIVERSAL HEALTH. Persons with disabilities call for automatic PhilHealth coverage for their sector. File photo by LeAnne Jazul/Rappler

Senate passes bill banning corporal punishment vs children

Oct 08, 2018 - 6:25 PM

The Positive Discipline of Children Act seeks to protect minors from all forms of physical and mental violence

Senate approves bill punishing catcalling, street harassment

Oct 08, 2018 - 4:56 PM

Senate Bill 1326 seeks to penalize catcalling, wolf-whistling, cursing, leering, groping, and stalking, among others

Duterte allies in Senate downplay medical tests

Oct 08, 2018 - 11:39 AM

The President is healthy enough to discharge his duties, say Senators Ralph Recto and Koko Pimentel

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte arrives at the SMX Convention Center in Davao City for his attendance to the Hugpong ng Pagbabago (HNP) Convention on August 17, 2018. Malacañang Photo

Trillanes faces Guevarra after amnesty row: DOJ must have courage to say no

Oct 03, 2018 - 4:22 PM

Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra tells the senator that he agrees the justice department 'should not be a weapon to persecute political opponents'

Photo by Angie de Silva/Rappler

Sotto seeks revival of Office of Press Secretary to replace PCOO

Oct 03, 2018 - 11:51 AM

Senate President Vicente Sotto III says he and other senators have questioned the effectiveness of the PCOO, amid the many controversies it has had to face under the Duterte administration

SENATE HEARING. Senate President Vicente Sotto III asks questions to Secretary Martin Andanar during the deliberations on the PCOO budget on October 3, 2018. Photo from Senate PRIB

Drilon dares Malacañang: File charges vs LP members in Duterte ouster plot

Oct 03, 2018 - 11:01 AM

'Let me borrow Secretary Roque's own words. We should not take Roque seriously,' says Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon after the Palace official insisted on the Liberal Party's role in an alleged Duterte ouster plot

Minority Leader Senatir Franklin Drilon grilling Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III at the 2019 budget hearing of the Department of Labor and Employment. September 19, 2018. Photo by Angie de Silva/Rappler

Bicam approves bill granting 105-day paid maternity leave

Oct 01, 2018 - 4:50 PM

The Senate and the House of Representatives now have to ratify the reconciled version of the bill before it can be signed into law by President Rodrigo Duterte

PAID LEAVE. Expectant mothers may soon see an extended maternity leave of 105 days. Photo from Shutterstock

Back home, Trillanes tells Duterte gov’t: 'Itodo 'nyo na'

Sep 29, 2018 - 4:20 PM

'Hindi kayo mananalo kung kayo ang mali,' says Senator Antonio Trillanes IV who is finally home after spending over 3 weeks in the Senate

HOME. Senator Antonio Trillanes€™ IV takes questions from the media as he arrived in his home. Photo by Angie de Silva/Rappler

Trillanes: I'm coming home

Sep 28, 2018 - 6:26 PM

'Lalasapin natin ang ating temporary victory with friends and family,' says Senator Antonio Trillanes IV

HOMEWARD BOUND. Senator Antonio Trillanes IV is finally going home after 3 weeks in the Senate. Photo by Angie de Silva/Rappler

Senate leaves nagging questions for House in P6.8-B shabu probe

Sep 27, 2018 - 9:25 AM

(UPDATED) More questions were uncovered by the Senate blue ribbon committee in the P6.8-billion shabu probe. The House committee on dangerous drugs and committee on good government now faces the pressure to answer them.

CONTINUATION. House committee on dangerous drugs Chair Ace Barbers (left) on August 14, 2018 during hearing and investigation into the missing P6.8 billion worth of shabu. File photo by Darren Langit/Rappler

Former X-ray chief: BOC did not follow SOP in scanning magnetic lifters

Sep 26, 2018 - 2:21 PM

The former X-ray chief of the Bureau of Customs says the current operators did not follow the SOP for X-rays that would have led to the physical examination of the magnetic lifters

LAPSES? Customs commissioner Isidro Lapena at the hearing of the suspected shabu shipment from Malaysia. September 19, 2018. Photo by Angie de Silva/Rappler

Gordon on magnetic lifters: 'May laman!'

Sep 26, 2018 - 12:36 PM

Senator Richard Gordon is inclined to believe that the magnetic lifters were packed with drugs, as claimed by the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency

SHABU SHIPMENT. Senator Richard Gordon at the investigation of the recent alleged shabu shipment contained in the magnetic lifters. File photo by Angie de Silva/Rappler

Trillanes to remain in the Senate after posting bail

Sep 26, 2018 - 7:26 AM

'I was advised not to go home yet...to wait for the ruling of Branch 148,' says opposition Senator Antonio Trillanes IV

Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV returns to the Senate after his arrest on September 25, 2018. Photo by Angie de Silva/Rappler

WATCH: PNP arrests Trillanes inside Senate

Sep 25, 2018 - 8:47 PM

Here's the video of the police arresting Senator Antonio Trillanes IV, no less than inside the Senate building

ARRESTED. Senator Antonio Trillanes IV is taken into police custody right inside the office of Senate President Vicente Sotto III. Screenshot from sourced video

Tito Sotto seeks to lower minimum age of criminal liability to 13

Sep 25, 2018 - 6:41 PM

Senate President Vicente Sotto III also proposes detention in youth care facilities for children over the age of 9 who commit serious crimes

Senate President Sen. Vicente Sotto III explains the bill on lowering the criminal liability to 13 years old. September 25, 2018. Photo by Angie de Silva/Rappler

Majority of Filipinos trust, approve of Senate President Tito Sotto

Sep 25, 2018 - 12:06 PM

The Senate continues to be the most appreciated government institution in September 2018, receiving an approval rating of 63% – higher than that of the House of Representatives (56%) and the Supreme Court (53%)

Senate president Vicente Sotto III asks the resource persons at the Joint Congressional Oversight Committee, Sept. 13, 2018. Photo by Angie de Silva/Rappler

'Rice tara-ffication?' Hontiveros bares Jason Aquino's corruption in NFA

Sep 25, 2018 - 9:37 AM

Senator Risa Hontiveros says former NFA chief Jason Aquino is at the 'center' of the supposed 'massive' corruption

Department of Budget and Management Assistant Director Jane Abella answers questions of Sen. Franklin Drilon at the senate budget hearing of the Department of Health. September 17, 2018. Photo by Angie de Silva/Rappler