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Rappler's latest stories on senator


Senate recalls approval of BCDA's P15.5-billion budget

Nov 14, 2019 - 7:15 PM

The sponsor of the Bases Conversion and Development Authority budget will be made to explain how the New Clark City Sports Complex won't turn into a white elephant after the SEA Games

SPORTS BUDGET. Senator Bong Go, sponsor of the Philippine Sports Commission budget, talks to BCDA president Vince Dizon about questions on the New Clark City Sports Complex. Senate YouTube screenshot

DND to reconsider AFP deal with China-backed telco after Senate review

Nov 13, 2019 - 7:10 PM

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana says they will 'think thrice, even 4 times,' after senators raised serious security concerns over Dito Telecommunity's plan to build cell sites within military properties

SECURITY RISKS. Senator Francis Pangilinan (right) and Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana (left) tackled the security risks from the military's cell sites deal with a China-backed telco during a plenary hearing on the 2020 budget of the Department of National Defense on November 13, 2019. Photo from the Office of Senator Francis Pangilinan

#UPFight? Imee Marcos poses for a photo with UP-grad senators

Nov 13, 2019 - 6:19 PM

Senator Imee Marcos, whose claim as a UP alumna is in question, poses for a photo with senators who graduated from the top state university. And netizens won't let it pass.

#UPFIGHT? Senators pose for a photo to cheer the UP Fighting Maroons on November 13, 2019. Photo from Senator Richard Gordon

Angara: Enough time to pass bill extending 2019 budget validity

Nov 13, 2019 - 5:15 PM

'I don't think there's a reason to worry because we have about 7 to 8 weeks before the end of the year,' says Senator Juan Edgardo Angara, chairman of the Senate finance committee

FINANCE PANEL. Senator Sonny Angara answers questions from the Senate media during break of the 2020 budget deliberations on November 12, 2019. Photo by Angie de Silva/Rappler

Drilon calls Build, Build, Build a 'dismal failure'

Nov 12, 2019 - 3:38 PM

(UPDATED) 'We can have a thousand projects, that's all theoretical… If it is actual construction with actual disbursements, that would propel our economy,' says Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon

ECONOMIC TEAM. Finance Secretary Sonny Dominguez (L) and NEDA Usec Rosemarie Edillon attend the Senate plenary discussions on the DOF and NEDA budgets. Photo by Angie de Silva

Dela Rosa says Robredo should be at the 'forefront' of war vs drugs

Nov 12, 2019 - 2:07 PM

'Mahirap yung you are leading the war inside an air-conditioned room,' says ex-top cop and now Senator Ronald dela Rosa

FOREFRONT. Senator Ronald dela Rosa says Vice President Leni Robredo should join anti-illegal drug raids. Photo by Angie de Silva/Rappler

Recto wants P10,000 chalk allowance for teachers

Nov 11, 2019 - 9:33 PM

'If we are not asking our soldiers to buy their own bullets, then why should we be forcing our teachers to buy their own provisions in fighting illiteracy?' Senate President Pro-Tempore Ralph Recto says

HIKE. Senate President Pro-Tempore bats for a 185% chalk allowance hike for teachers. Photo by Angie de Silva/Rappler

Bill moving barangay, SK polls to 2022 now up for Duterte's signature

Nov 11, 2019 - 8:21 PM

Both chambers of Congress ratify the bicameral conference committee report on the measure

POSTPONED AGAIN? Lawmakers are seeking to postpone the barangay and SK elections for the 3rd time under the Duterte administration. File photo by Angie de Silva/Rappler

Social services fund hike pushed as 2020 budget bill goes to Senate plenary

Nov 11, 2019 - 8:08 PM

The Senate aims to wrap up deliberations of the general appropriations bill by November 22

SPONSOR. Senator Sonny Angara introduces the general appropriations bill to the plenary on November 11, 2019. Photo by Angie de Silva/Rappler

Senate urges gov't not to pursue sugar liberalization

Nov 11, 2019 - 6:23 PM

'We do not want another industry to fall and falter because of the liberalizing imports of these products,' says Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri

OPPOSED. Senators are opposed to sugar liberalization. Shutterstock photo

Senate approves Malasakit Center bill on final reading

Nov 11, 2019 - 4:25 PM

The measure aims to consolidate the assistance provided by the health and social welfare departments, as well as the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office, in a 'one-stop shop' at hospitals

ONE-STOP SHOP. Senator Bong Go attend the launching of the Malasakit Center at the Tarlac Provincial Hospital in Tarlac City on February 6, 2019 back when he was still running for senator. File photo from Go

Senate to begin plenary debates on 2020 budget

Nov 10, 2019 - 1:04 PM

The Senate is aiming to prevent another budget deadlock that delayed the passage of the 2019 General Appropriations Bill

BUDGET PLENARY. Plenary debates on the 2020 budget are set to begin Monday, November 11, in the Senate. Photo by Angie de Silva

Lacson wants 2020 budget bicam open to the public

Nov 08, 2019 - 3:59 PM

House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano says the lower chamber has about P50 to P100 billion worth of realignments to be introduced at the bicameral conference committee

TRANSPARENCY. Senator Panfilo Lacson suggests to make the bicam open to the public. Photo by Angie de Silva/Rappler

Gordon to BI: Ensure that foreigners entering PH not involved in drugs

Nov 06, 2019 - 10:51 PM

'Almost all of shabu smuggled into this country come from China, under the control of Chinese nationals. This problem is so serious,' says Senator Richard Gordon

NINJA COPS REPORT. Senator Richard Gordon sponsors Committee Report 17 on the ninja cops issue before the Senate plenary. Photo by Angie de Silva/Rappler

Senate approves Malasakit Center bill on 2nd reading

Nov 06, 2019 - 8:17 PM

Senator Bong Go rejects Senator Risa Hontiveros' proposed amendment renaming them to 'Malasakit at Kalusugan Centers. Go says adding words to the brand will confuse its patrons.

ONE-STOP SHOP FOR SERVICES. In this file photo from February 12, 2018, President Rodrigo Roa Duterte leads the unveiling of the dedication plate of the Malasakit Center at the Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center in Cebu City with Health Secretary Francisco Duque III. Photo by Ace Morandan/Malacañang

Robredo's acceptance of anti-drug czar post a 'very good move' – Sotto

Nov 06, 2019 - 5:44 PM

'Kung maiwasan ang killings, iwasan. Pero how do you win? War nga ito,' says Senator Ronald dela Rosa, the architect of the Duterte administration's drug war

ANTI-DRUG CZAR. Vice President Leni Robredo accepts President Rodrigo Duterte's offer to head the anti-drug campaign of the administration. OVP photo

19 senators sign report vs Albayalde, 'ninja cops'

Nov 05, 2019 - 7:06 PM

A simple majority or 13 votes is needed for the Senate to adopt the report which recommends the filing of criminal charges against resigned top cop Oscar Albayalde and the 13 'ninja cops'

NINJA COPS. Senator Richard Gordon shows a document at the hearing on drug recycling on October 1, 2019. Photo by Angie de Silva/Rappler

Senators won't adopt House version of P4.1-T budget for 2020

Nov 04, 2019 - 7:56 PM

Senator Panfilo Lacson floats the idea to stop congressmen from introducing further amendments during the bicameral conference committee

NOT ADOPTING. Senators held a caucus to discuss proposal whether the chamber will adopt the House version of the 2020 budget. Photo by Darren Langit/Rappler

Senate approves measure using 4Ps fund to buy palay from PH farmers on final reading

Nov 04, 2019 - 3:37 PM

The joint resolution also encourages local governments to buy from Filipino farmers

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

Senate to prioritize creation of disaster department after budget deliberations

Nov 04, 2019 - 3:17 PM

Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri says that discussions on the proposed disaster resilience department can start by November 25, when the bicameral conference committee convenes to tackle the 2020 budget

POWERFUL QUAKE. A series of magnitude 6 earthquakes rocked Cotabato in a span of two weeks late October. Photo by Bobby Lagsa/Rappler

VP as drug czar? Pimentel says job for Duterte's alter ego only

Oct 29, 2019 - 5:28 PM

Former top cops-turned-lawmakers Senators Panfilo Lacson and Ronald 'Bato' dela Rosa believe that only the President has 'sufficient authority' over law enforcement officials

DRUG CZAR? President Rodrigo Duterte claims he will make Vice President Leni Robredo as drug czar for 6 months. File photo by Charlie Villegas/OVP

Villanueva wants GMRC as part of K to 12 curriculum

Oct 29, 2019 - 5:26 PM

Senator Joel Villanueva wants immersions, outreach programs, and community service activities to be part of the GMRC classes

GMRC. Senators are pushing for a more comprehensive values formation class for elementary and high school students. Photo by Angie de Silva/Rappler

Now moot, SC junks Calida's petition to stop Senate probe into firm contracts

Oct 25, 2019 - 2:39 PM

The High Court does not set concrete guidelines for Senate investigations. If a new senator decides to launch a new probe, this decision cannot stop the probe.

SECURITY FIRM. Solicitor General Jose Calida tries to stop the Senate investigation into his family-owned security firm that has bagged at least 16 government contracts since he became solicitor general in 2016. Photo by Lian Buan/Rappler

Nene Pimentel: Courageous stalwart of democracy

Oct 20, 2019 - 9:50 AM

Former Senate president Nene Pimentel fought for the powerless and promoted the rule of law, and these fueled his staunch opposition to the Marcos dictatorship

FEDERALISM STALWART. Former Senate President Aquilino "Nene" Pimentel Jr. speaks during the 3rd Centennial lecture themed " Federalizing the Philippines" held at Recto room, Senate of the Philippines on August 4, 2016. Photo by Alex Nueva Espana/PRIB

Senate panels recommend criminal charges vs Albayalde, 'ninja cops' over 2013 drug raid

Oct 18, 2019 - 4:01 PM

'Do I think they're guilty? Yes,' says Senator Richard Gordon

DRAFT REPORT. Senator Richard Gordon presents to the media the draft committee report on drug recycling. Photo by Joseph Vidal/PRIB

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