MANILA, Philippines (7th UPDATE) – The Senate, as of February 28 or barely a year since the 17th Congress began, has already undergone 2 reorganizations under Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III.
In September 2016, Senator Leila de Lima was ousted as chairperson of the Senate committee on justice after presenting witness Edgar Matobato, who accused President Rodrigo Duterte of ordering killings when he was mayor of Davao City. She was replaced by Senator Richard Gordon.
On February 27, the chamber again reshuffled its committee chairmanships, after senators voted to remove 4 Liberal Party-allied senators from their key posts and shifted to the minority bloc.
Senator Franklin Drilon was replaced by Senator Ralph Recto as the Senate President Pro-Tempore. Drilon is now the new Senate Minority Leader replacing Recto, as he continues to head the committee on constitutional amendments tasked to hear bills on charter change.
Senator Francis Pangilinan was removed as chairman of the Senate committee on agriculture and replaced by administration Senator Cynthia Villar.
Senator Paolo Benigno Aquino IV was relieved of chairmanship of the committee on education. He still heads the committee on science and technology.
Akbayan’s Senator Risa Hontiveros was ousted as chair of the health committee but still chairs the committee on women, children, family relations, and gender equality.
Here is the list of the committees and their chairpersons, as of February 28, 2017:
- Accounts – Panfilo Lacson
- Agrarian Reform – Alan Peter Cayetano
- Agriculture and Food – Cynthia Villar
- Banks, Financial Institutions, and Currencies – Francis Escudero
- Blue Ribbon – Richard “Dick” Gordon
- Civil Service and Government Reorganization – Antonio Trillanes IV
- Climate Change – Loren Legarda
- Constitutional Amendments and Revision of Codes and Laws – Franklin Drilon
- Cooperatives – Juan Miguel Zubiri
- Cultural communities – Nancy Binay
- Economic Affairs – Sherwin Gatchalian
- Education – Francis Escudero
- Electoral Reforms and People’s Participation – Leila De Lima
- Energy – Sherwin Gatchalian
- Environment and Natural Resources – Cynthia Villar
- Ethics and Privileges – Vicente Sotto III
- Finance – Loren Legarda
- Foreign Relations – Alan Peter Cayetano
- Games and Amusement – Panfilo Lacson
- Government Corporations and Public Enterprises – Richard Gordon
- Health and Demography – Joseph Victor Ejercito
- Justice and Human Rights – Richard Gordon
- Labor, Employment & Human Resources Development – Joel Villanueva
- Local Government – Juan Edgardo Angara
- National Defense and Security – Gregorio Honasan
- Peace, Unification, and Reconciliation – Gregorio Honasan
- Public Information and Mass Media – Grace Poe
- Public Services – Grace Poe
- Public Order and Dangerous Drugs – Panfilo Lacson
- Public Works – Manny Pacquiao
- Rules – Vicente “Tito” Sotto III
- Science and Technology – Paolo Benigno “Bam” Aquino IV
- Social Justice, Welfare and Rural Development – Cynthia Villar
- Sports – Manny Pacquiao
- Tourism – Nancy Binay
- Trade and Commerce – Juan Miguel Zubiri
- Urban Planning, Housing and Resettlement – JV Ejercito
- Ways and Means – Juan Edgardo “Sonny” Angara
- Women, Children, Family Relations and Gender Equality – Risa Hontiveros
- Youth – Joel Villanueva – Rappler.com