Senate - updates

Rappler's latest stories on Senate


Senators say ABS-CBN case sets a precedent: 'Toe the line or get shut down'

Jul 10, 2020 - 8:24 PM

(UPDATED) 'The sword of Damocles will continue to hang perilously over other media networks. Both the legislators and the executive can wield the sword at their whim and caprice,' says Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon

TOE THE LINE. Artists and employees of ABS-CBN hold a candlelighting ceremony at the network's compound after Congress denied its franchise application on July 10, 2020. Photo by Jire Carreon/Rappler

Tolentino wants tax deductions for employees working from home

Jul 07, 2020 - 3:45 PM

Senator Francis Tolentino wants employees to receive tax deductions for the additional electricity consumption under the work-from-home scheme, or for employers to cover for the bill increase

DEDUCTIONS. Senator Francis Tolentino proposes tax deductions for employees working from home. Photo by Henzberg Austria/Senate PRIB

Opposition lawmakers: Resist anti-terror law – the 'death warrant to human rights'

Jul 03, 2020 - 11:45 PM

'We will show them that in the face of repression, an awakened people will resist and fight back' says Bayan Muna Representative Carlos Zarate

Thousands of brave the rain to protest the anti terrorism bill during the Grand Mañanita Independence Day rally inside the University of the Philippine campus in Diliman, QC on June 12, 2020. Photo by Jire Carreon/Rappler

Isn't it ironic? Poor connection forces suspension of Senate hearing on internet

Jul 01, 2020 - 8:46 PM

Telco representatives are not spared from bad internet connection

SUSPENDED. Senator Grace Poe suspends Senate hearing on the status of internet connection in the Philippines due to poor connectivity. Photo by Angie de Silva/Rappler

Police reform bill clears U.S. House but deadlock awaits in Senate

Jun 26, 2020 - 9:41 AM

President Donald Trump is opposed to the House measure, and says the Democrats were aiming to 'weaken our police' and end officer immunity

ST LOUIS, MO - JUNE 01: St. Louis City Bike Patrol Officers mobilize as protesters demonstrate against police brutality and the death of George Floyd through downtown St. Louis on June 1, 2020 in St Louis, Missouri. Protests continue to be held in cities throughout the country over the death of George Floyd, a black man who died while in police custody in Minneapolis on May 25. Michael B. Thomas/Getty Images/AFP

Walang signal? NTC skips Senate hearing on online learning

Jun 25, 2020 - 7:25 PM

''Pag may technical problems ang NTC, parang nawawalan ako ng pag-asa sa online learning na mangyayari sa bansa natin,' says Senator Sherwin Gatchalian

DISTANCE LEARNING. File photo of students during the first day of classes school year 2017-2018. Photo by Ben Nabong

DepEd: 40% of public school teachers trained for distance learning

Jun 25, 2020 - 4:06 PM

A Department of Education official tells a Senate panel that so far, 300,000 of the country's 800,000 public school teachers have been trained for distance learning, with just two months left before the opening of classes

DISTANCE LEARNING. File photo of students during the first day of classes school year 2017-2018. Photo by Ben Nabong

Republican police reform bill blocked in U.S. Senate

Jun 25, 2020 - 9:09 AM

The Republican proposal, which President Donald Trump supports, would discourage but not ban tactics like choke holds

SIGN. Police are seen behind a protester's placard standing guard on a bridge as protestors block the road next to burned Wendy's restaurant on the fourth day following Rayshard Brooks' shooting death. Photo by Chandan Khanna/AFP

Senate under 'semi-lockdown' as 2 employees test positive

Jun 23, 2020 - 2:06 PM

Senate President Tito Sotto says employees who don't want to go to office are allowed to work from home

PHILIPPINE SENATE. The facade of the Senate building. Photo from the Senate of the Philippines Facebook page

Senators mourn death of 'NPC big boss' Danding Cojuangco

Jun 17, 2020 - 2:10 PM

(UPDATED) Nationalist People's Coalition members at the Senate recount Danding Cojuangco's contributions to politics and business

SPORTS PATRON. San Miguel Corporation Chairman and CEO Eduardo 'Danding' Cojuangco Jr (center right) supported sports and politics. Rappler file photo

Lawmakers oppose proposal to delay universal health care law implementation

Jun 16, 2020 - 6:32 PM

Senator Risa Hontiveros tells PhilHealth the coronavirus pandemic is the 'litmus test' for the implementation of the Universal Health Care Act


U.S. senators warn verdict vs Ressa sets 'dangerous precedent'

Jun 16, 2020 - 3:45 PM

'Today we must face our own fear: that one of the oldest democracies in Asia…is abandoning its commitment to fundamental freedoms including freedom of the press,' say US Senators Edward Markey, Patrick Leahy, and Dick Durbin

DEFEND PRESS FREEDOM. Rappler CEO and executive editor Maria Ressa at the Manila Trial Court on June 15, 2020. Photo by Dante Diosina Jr/Rappler

Senate Electoral Tribunal junks quo warranto vs Koko Pimentel

Jun 16, 2020 - 3:06 PM

The Senate Electoral Tribunal dismisses two quo warranto petitions against Senator Koko Pimentel for lack of merit

DISMISSED. The Senate Electoral Tribunal dismisses the petition against Senator Koko Pimentel. File photo by Angie de Silva/Rappler

Robredo: Be wary of Ressa verdict's ‘chilling’ effect on citizens’ freedoms

Jun 15, 2020 - 1:32 PM

'Silencing, harassing, and weaponizing law against the media sends a clear message to every dissenting voice: Keep quiet or you are next,' warns Vice President Leni Robredo

HOLD THE LINE. Rappler CEO and executive editor Maria Ressa (L) and former Rappler researcher Rey Santos, Jr during a press conference after a Manila court found them guilty of cyber libel. Photo by Dante Diosina Jr/Rappler

Lawmakers to Filipinos: Resist repression as Ressa's conviction 'not the last'

Jun 15, 2020 - 11:26 AM

(UPDATED) 'We are complicit if we stay silent,' says Senator Risa Hontiveros

DEFEND PRESS FREEDOM. Rappler CEO Maria Ressa takes question from the media after the Manila Trial Court Branch 46 found her and co-accused Reynaldo Santos Jr guilty of cyber liberal against businessman Wilfredo Keng. Photo by Alecs Ongcal/Rappler

Senators hit BIR: 'Ang luwag sa POGO, ang lupit sa Pilipino'

Jun 11, 2020 - 4:15 PM

'Imbes na online sellers, baka puwedeng singilin muna ang mga POGO na may P50 billion in unpaid taxes?' asks Senator Risa Hontiveros

'POGO FIRST'. POGO workers in Makati City gather their belongings as they are instructed to work from home during the lockdown on March 18, 2020. File photo by Alecs Ongcal/Rappler

Malacañang says Bayanihan Act to expire June 25, but Constitution says no

Jun 06, 2020 - 8:03 PM

'The Constitution takes precedence over ordinary legislation,' says Senator Drilon on Malacañang's assertion

NO ACTION. President Rodrigo Roa Duterte did not certify Bayanihan 2 bill as urgent, which would have extended the validity of programs under Bayanihan Act. Malacanang photo

Rappler+ Webinar: Implications of the anti-terrorism bill

Jun 06, 2020 - 12:36 PM

Happening Tuesday, June 9, 10 am

Senate session adjourns without passing Bayanihan 2

Jun 04, 2020 - 10:06 PM

Bayanihan to Heal As One Act – the law giving President Duterte emergency powers to respond to the coronavirus pandemic – will expire on Friday, June 5

ADJOURNED. Senate adjourns sine die on June 4, 2020. Photo by Henzberg Austria/Senate PRIB

Recto: Compensation for virus-hit health workers should be tax-free

Jun 04, 2020 - 6:31 PM

'The taxman should not have a share of the state’s monetary thank you to these heroes,' says Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto

FRONTLINERS. A nurse undergoes swabbing for COVID-19 testing. Photo by Darren Langit/Rappler

Refusing to be questioned, Go tells Drilon: 'I'm not your student'

Jun 04, 2020 - 5:14 PM

'It depends on the issue, Mr President, if I’m willing to be interpellated. It's my privilege,' says Senator Bong Go as he refuses to take questions on his privilege speech

NO QUESTIONS. Senator Bong Go did not entertain questions on his privilege speech on the delayed release of compensation to health workers infected with coronavirus. File photo by Angie de Silva/Rappler

LIVE: Senate hearing on Bayanihan 2 bill

Jun 04, 2020 - 1:18 PM

If passed, the Bayanihan 2 bill would be effective until September 30, unless extended by Congress

Senate approves Bayanihan 2 bill on second reading

Jun 03, 2020 - 9:23 PM

The Bayanihan to Recover as One bill has a P140-billion 'standby fund' for test kits, assistance to labor, transportation, tourism, and agriculture sectors, and capital infusion to government financial instruments

'RECOVER AS ONE'. A health worker waits for patients to be tested for COVID-19 at a swabbing center in Manila on May 28, 2020. Photo by Inoue Jaena/Rappler

Bato dela Rosa joins senators in welcoming shelved VFA termination

Jun 03, 2020 - 5:37 PM

'Foreign policies can be flexible at times,' says Senator Ronald 'Bato' dela Rosa, whose canceled US visa triggered President Duterte's earlier decision to terminate the Visiting Forces Agreement with the US

NO US VISA. Senator Ronald 'Bato' dela Rosa says he has no US visa yet even as the President suspended the abrogation of the visiting forces agreement. Photo by Angie de Silva/Rappler

Sotto to critics: Only terrorists, supporters afraid of anti-terror bill

Jun 02, 2020 - 4:39 PM

Senator Risa Hontiveros and Senator Francis Pangilinan, the two senators who voted against the measure at the Senate, question the urgency in passing the anti-terrorism bill

'READ THE BILL.' Senate President Vicente Sotto III asks critics to 'read the anti-terror bill' first. Photo by Joseph Vidal/Senate PRIB

Senators slam DOTr's 'poor planning, lack of foresight' for commuters

Jun 02, 2020 - 2:12 PM

'Dapat maramdaman nila ang hirap na pinagdadaanan ng mga commuter. They won't be able to plan well if they don't feel and understand the people's daily struggles,' says Senator Nancy Binay

STRANDED. Passengers returning to work wait for augmentation buses along Commonwealth Avenue Quezon City on June 1, 2020, the first day of the General Community Quarantine in NCR. Photo by Darren Langit/Rappler

Senators unanimously approve proposal to delay start of classes

Jun 01, 2020 - 5:03 PM

(UPDATED) Senate Bill 1541 seeks to give the President the power to set the start of classes later than August during a state of emergency

DINFECTING CLASSROOMS. Members of Manila Health Department disinfects the classrooms of M. Hizon Elementary School as a precautionary measure against the spread of COVID-19 and for the enrollment of students on June 1. Photo by KD Madrilejos/Rappler

Fears of losing freedoms escalate as Congress rushes to pass anti-terror bill

May 30, 2020 - 11:16 PM

The bill would empower a council of top cabinet officials to do functions usually reserved for the courts, like ordering the warrantless arrest and detention of people and groups perceived to be terrorists

ANTI TERROR BILL. Anakpawis Party-list and peasant group from Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas rally in 2018 against the Human Security Act of 2007 which SB 1083 or the Anti Terror Bill seeks to repeal and strengthen. Photo by Maria Tan/Rappler

‘Dissent is duty, not crime’: Filipinos slam anti-terrorism bill

May 29, 2020 - 9:05 PM

#JunkTerrorBill tops Twitter trends as Filipinos online criticize the dangerous provisions of the anti-terror bill

'Sarap ng buhay' no more? Sotto orders Bato to attend June 1 session physically

May 27, 2020 - 6:27 PM

After getting slammed on social media over an insensitive remark, neophyte Senator Bato dela Rosa is asked to return to work in the Senate building

Photo by Angie de Silva/Rappler

LIVE: Senate committee of the whole inquiry on COVID-19 measures

May 27, 2020 - 1:07 PM

Watch the Senate inquiry live on Rappler

LIVE: Senate hearing on non-expiration of franchises

May 27, 2020 - 9:24 AM

Watch the Senate hearing live on Rappler

LIVE: Senate hearing on managing health emergencies

May 26, 2020 - 10:58 AM

Watch the hearing live on Rappler, Tuesday, May 26, at 10 am

Avatar robots at graduation? Japan pioneered them

May 24, 2020 - 9:01 AM

A public school in Taguig is the first in the Philippines to dress robots in toga to represent its graduates. The first in the world to do that was a university in Tokyo.

SUBSTITUTES. ‘newme’ avatar robots representing graduates of the Business BreakThrough University in Tokyo exit the stage after receiving diplomas from president Kenichi Ohmae on March 28, 2020. Photo from the BBT University website

IN PHOTOS: Robots represent graduating high school students in Taguig

May 22, 2020 - 5:39 PM

The Senator Renato ‘Compañero’ Cayetano Memorial Science and Technology High School resorts to technology to comply with the prohibition on mass gatherings

‘Nakakabahala’: Senators hit Duque over false claims on COVID-19 contagion

May 21, 2020 - 4:41 PM

'Sobrang nakakabahala...kung ang secretary of health na mismo ang nagpapakalat ng maling information tungkol sa COVID-19,' Senator Nancy Binay says

Senator Nancy Binay, chairperson of Senate Committee on Tourism, presides the senate public hearing on the creation of Boracay Development Authority on February 11, 2020.. Photo by Angie de Silva/Rappler

WATCH: Senate hearing on ABS-CBN franchise renewal

May 19, 2020 - 8:43 AM

Watch the Senate session live on Rappler

Senate approves longer jail time for people who lie under oath

May 18, 2020 - 4:24 PM

Government officials who commit perjury also face a more severe penalty of up to 12 years in prison and a fine not exceeding P1 million, based on a bill approved on final reading by 20 senators

LONGER PRISON TIME. Senators pass on 3rd and final reading a bill that would impose longer prison time to people who give false testimonies and commit perjury under oath. Photo by Lisa Marie David/Rappler

U.S. Senate panel head steps down amid virus insider-trading probe

May 15, 2020 - 10:01 AM

Burr is under investigation over whether he used his access to highly classified intelligence to sell stocks in February – before the coronavirus pandemic struck the US

STEPPING DOWN. US Senator Richard Burr, Republican of North Carolina, leaves after a vote at US Capitol in Washington, DC, May 14, 2020. Photo by Saul Loeb/AFP

U.S. Senate threatens sanctions on China over COVID-19 accounting

May 13, 2020 - 2:04 PM

'The Chinese Communist Party must be held accountable for the detrimental role they played in this pandemic,' says Senator Jim Inhofe, one of the sponsors of the 'COVID-19 Accountability Act'

In this file photo taken on May 7, 2020, US Senator Jim Inhofe, a Republican from Oklahoma, speaks during a Senate Armed Services Committee confirmation hearing in Washington, DC. US Republican senators proposed legislation on May 12, 2020, that would empower President Donald Trump to slap sanctions on China if Beijing does not give a "full accounting" for the coronavirus outbreak. "The Chinese Communist Party must be held accountable for the detrimental role they played in this pandemic," said Senator Jim Inhofe, one of the sponsors of the "COVID-19 Accountability Act." Al DRAGO / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / AFP

Tito Sotto trends after he abstains from voting on ABS-CBN reso

May 11, 2020 - 9:57 PM

Resolution No. 395, which asks the NTC to reconsider its cease and desist order against the network, only 'expresses' the sense of the Senate. It does not have the effect of a law.

Senate to NTC: Reconsider ABS-CBN shutdown order

May 11, 2020 - 3:52 PM

9 senators abstain from voting, including Senator Pia Cayetano who initially signed the resolution. Cayetano withdraws her signature.

RECONSIDER. The National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) has issued a cease and desist order to the giant network ABS-CBN effective immediately. May 5, 2020. Photo by Angie de Silva/Rappler

LIVE: Senate hearing on resumption of public transport

May 11, 2020 - 10:38 AM

Watch the hearing live on Rappler at 10:30 am on Monday, May 11

13 senators urge NTC to reconsider ABS-CBN shutdown order

May 07, 2020 - 5:04 PM

13 senators file a resolution asking the Senate to express its sense on the National Telecommunications Commission shutdown order against ABS-CBN

'RECONSIDER'. The National Telecommunications Commission(NTC) has issued a cease and desist order to the giant network ABS-CBN effective immediately. May 5, 2020. Photo by Angie de Silva/Rappler

Senate to probe gov't coronavirus measures starting May 11

May 06, 2020 - 5:47 PM

The Senate will invite the economic managers and members of the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases

CORONAVIRUS AID. Transport drivers from various organizations line up at the Landbank in Commonwealth Avenue in Quezon City to withdraw the financial assistance from the government. Photo by Darren Langit/Rappler

Calida: Blame Congress, not me, for off-the-air ABS-CBN

May 06, 2020 - 1:29 PM

'Why hasn’t Congress acted on it? Who is at fault here?' says Solicitor General Jose Calida the morning after a cease and desist order silences the Philippine broadcast behemoth

ABS-CBN shutdown a 'betrayal of 11,000 workers,' labor groups say

May 05, 2020 - 10:46 PM

'To shut down a major media outfit and render the more than 11,000 workers jobless at a time when the country is reeling from a pandemic is the height of callousness!' says labor group Sentro

OFF AIR. The staff of ABS-CBN watch as President and CEO Carlo Katigbak makes a statement on the broadcast network shutdown by the National Telecommunication Commission on May 5, 2020. Photo courtesy of Alcuin Papa

'Grave abuse of power,' senators condemn NTC flip-flop on ABS-CBN

May 05, 2020 - 7:18 PM

(UPDATED) Senators slammed the National Telecommunications Commission for turning away from its commitment that it will issue a provisional authority to ABS-CBN

SHUTDOWN. ABS-CBN artists and talents, including its radio and TV reporters, came out and participated weekly Friday protests to call for the renewal of ABS-CBN franchise. Photo by Jire Carreon/Rappler

Senate approves alternative learning bill on final reading

May 04, 2020 - 10:17 PM

'The ALS Act is, in its very essence, a bill about second chances. It is a bill about providing opportunities for a better life to our fellow Filipinos who have fallen into hard times,' says Senator Gatchalian

MENTORING. Frizza Dogomio is mentored by a Convergys employee under the Department of Education's Alternative Learning System. File photo from Convergys

Congress holds first-ever 'hybrid' session

May 04, 2020 - 9:01 PM

The two chambers of Congress take different routes in adopting teleconferencing as part of their proceedings

QUORUM. Fifteen senators attend the resumption of plenary session Monday, May 4, 2020 while 8 senators participate through video conference. Photo by Henzberg Austria/Senate PRIB