Congress - updates

Rappler's latest stories on Congress


House panels to seek NBI probe into ABS-CBN's 'deception' in hearings

Jul 06, 2020 - 4:20 PM

House Senior Deputy Majority Leader Jesus Crispin 'Boying' Remulla wants the National Bureau of Investigation to launch a probe into ABS-CBN, and also into the 'cyberbullying' against lawmakers

Screenshot from House of Representatives' Youtube accoun

House poised to grill ABS-CBN on 2016 election coverage

Jul 05, 2020 - 8:55 PM

The 2016 election coverage of ABS-CBN has long been an issue for President Rodrigo Duterte and his allies, including his former running mate, House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano

SESSION UNDER COVID. Lawmakers hold a hearing at the Batasang Pambansa with physical distancing. File photo from Office of House of Majority Leader Martin Romualdez

Makati Business Club again urges lawmakers to renew ABS-CBN franchise

Jul 05, 2020 - 4:15 PM

'Equal treatment of all companies – especially by regulators, prosecutors, and lawmakers – will signal that rule of law prevailed,' says the Makati Business Club

Members of the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines and the Photojournalists’ Center of the Philippines holds a candle lighting protest at the Sgt. Esguerra gate of the ABS-CBN compound on July 3, 2020. The National Telecommunications Commission ordered ABS-CBN to stop the operations of Sky Direct and TV Plus on June 30. Photos by Angie de Silva/Rappler

Remulla: Amcara Broadcasting Network is ABS-CBN’s ‘dummy’

Jul 02, 2020 - 6:33 PM

(UPDATED) Amcara executives admit that its transmitters for its digital services were provided by ABS-CBN, and that Channel 43's airtime was devoted to ABS-CBN's digital channels

DUMMY? 7th District Representative Jesus Crispin Remulla interpellates Amcara Broadcasting Network officials during the 11th House hearing on ABS-CBN's franchise woes on July 2, 2020. Screenshot from the House of Representatives' YouTube account

Makabayan bloc seeks House probe into StaySafe's data privacy issues

Jul 02, 2020 - 12:07 PM

'From the process of selection, effectivity, and data privacy, the interests of the Filipino people are put to great risk,' say progressive lawmakers pushing for the investigation

Caught on video, Remulla sorry for writing note during ‘Lupang Hinirang’

Jul 01, 2020 - 8:43 PM

The deputy speaker blames ‘ABS-CBN people’ for ‘playing it up on social media’

SORRY NOT SORRY? Cavite 7th District Representative Boying Remulla apologizes on July 1, 2020 for taking notes during the flag ceremony two day prior. Screenshot from the House of Representatives' Facebook page

ABS-CBN’s Big Dipper, Lingkod Kapamilya Foundation ‘not tax avoidance schemes’

Jul 01, 2020 - 7:13 PM

ABS-CBN Group chief financial officer Ricardo Tan also debunks allegations the network supposedly recorded a negative 5% effective tax rate in 2018

DEFENDING THE KAPAMILYA. ABS-CBN Group chief financial officer Ricardo Tan faces the House committees on legislative franchises, and good government and public accountability on July 1, 2020. Screenshot from the House of Representatives' Youtube account

In ABS-CBN hearing, House tackles labor conditions in TV networks

Jun 30, 2020 - 9:38 PM

Are alleged unfair labor practices even a ground to deny a franchise? Lawyer Tony La Viña says it is up to Congress, where franchise renewals 'are not legal proceedings but political in nature'

EMBATTLED NETWORK. Pictured here is the headquarters of media network ABS-CBN in Quezon City on June 30, 2020. Photo by Angie de Silva/Rappler

Lawmakers threaten graft case vs NTC's Cordoba for allowing ABS-CBN TV Plus to continue

Jun 29, 2020 - 4:22 PM

NTC Commissioner Gamaliel Cordoba argues ABS-CBN TV Plus and Channel 43 are supposedly covered by the cease and desist order issued versus the network, but the NTC fails to strictly implement its own issuance

HOT SEAT. NTC Commissioner Gamaliel Cordoba answers lawmakers' questions in a Senate hearing on February 24, 2020. File photo by Angie de Silva/Rappler  HOT SEAT. NTC Commissioner Gamaliel Cordoba answers lawmakers' questions in a Senate hearing on February 24, 2020. File photo by Angie de Silva/Rappler

After Ressa conviction, lawmaker seeks 1-year prescription period for cyber libel

Jun 18, 2020 - 2:06 PM

Cagayan de Oro City 2nd District Representative Rufus Rodriguez says explicitly putting this in the Cybercrime Law would ''put to rest the issue of prescription of the crime of cyber libel'

CYBER LIBEL CASE. Rappler CEO Maria Ressa and her co-accused, ex-Rappler writer-researcher Reynaldo Santos Jr, face the media after being convicted for cyber libel by the Manila Regional Trial Court Branch 46 on June 15, 2020. Photo by Dante Diosina Jr/Rappler

E. Visayas lawmakers seek review of ‘Hatid Probinsya’ after spike in coronavirus cases

Jun 18, 2020 - 12:13 PM

The 14 lawmakers say Eastern Visayas was free from coronavirus cases for weeks until the 'Hatid Probinsya' program was implemented

PANDEMIC. Health workers speak outside the Eastern Visayas Regional Medical Center. Photo from EVRMC's Facebook page

7 Moro lawmakers want House probe into warrantless arrest of 2 Muslim traders

Jun 18, 2020 - 11:30 AM

Manila cops arrest jewelry traders Abdullah Palawan Maute and Saadudin Alawiya in San Andres Bukid, claiming to find illegal drugs in their home

Enrile echoes ABS-CBN: Lopezes did not lose ownership during Martial Law takeover

Jun 17, 2020 - 5:33 PM

Martial Law implementer Juan Ponce Enrile tells lawmakers that though the Marcos regime took over ABS-CBN, the title of the facilities 'remained with the owners'

SEQUESTERING ABS-CBN. Former Martial Law chief implementer Juan Ponce Enrile joins the joint House committee hearing on ABS-CBN's franchise on June 17, 2020 through video conferencing app Zoom. Screenshot from Zoom

Cayetano, House leaders seek probe into delays in DSWD subsidy program

Jun 16, 2020 - 3:25 PM

The ranking lawmakers hit the Department of Social Welfare and Development for its failure to streamline the distribution process, forcing beneficiaries to wait for weeks

WAITING IN LINE. Residents of Barangay San Jose in Rodriguez, Rizal, queue for the distribution of DSWD's emergency subsidy on May 12, 2020. Photo by Angie de Silva/Rappler

Cavite lawmaker: Lopezes got ‘preferential treatment’ over other Martial Law victims

Jun 15, 2020 - 10:15 PM

Cavite 4th District Representative Elpidio Barzaga Jr says Martial Law victims are still waiting for their compensation decades after Marcos was ousted

MAKING A CASE VS ABS-CBN. Cavite 4th District Representative Elipidio Barzaga speaks during the ABS-CBN franchise hearing on June 15, 2020. Screenshot from the House of Representatives' Youtube account

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

House of terror: How the lower chamber let slip a 'killer' bill

Jun 14, 2020 - 7:09 PM

The House of Representatives passes a controversial bill that could endanger the progressives, Moros, and Lumad among them due to terrorist-tagging

ABS-CBN's PDR holders have no rights to own, manage network

Jun 11, 2020 - 3:51 PM

(3rd UPDATE) ABS-CBN tells a House panel that when it sold Philippine Depositary Receipts to foreign companies, the latter were only entitled to dividends, not shares of stock

OWNERSHIP IN QUESTION. ABS-CBN's executives and lawyers attend the House joint hearing on June 3, 2020. File photo by Angie de Silva/Rappler

Lawmakers' changing of anti-terror bill vote has 'no more bearing' – Villafuerte

Jun 11, 2020 - 11:40 AM

Villafuerte – among the closest allies of Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano in the House – slams his colleagues for changing their votes

HOUSE DEPUTY SPEAKER. Camarines Sur 2nd District Representative Luis Raymund Villafuerte gestures during a hearing in February 2018. File photo by Angie de Silva/Rappler

Floyd brother tells U.S. Congress to 'stop' pain, pass police reform

Jun 10, 2020 - 11:56 PM

Philonise Floyd appears in person before a House hearing, where he describes the anguish of watching a video of George's death and demands lawmakers address the systemic problems in law enforcement

POLICE REFORM. Philonise Floyd, brother of George Floyd, pauses as he gives his opening statement during a House Judiciary Committee hearing to discuss police brutality and racial profiling on June 10, 2020 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. Photo by Greg Nash/Pool/AFP

Some House members' votes on anti-terror bill incorrectly recorded

Jun 09, 2020 - 6:40 PM

Most of the House members voted on the anti-terrorism bill through Zoom or a Viber group chat, methods that are prone to errors when there are a total of 302 lawmakers

IN SESSION. Only a few lawmakers are allowed to physically attend the session on May 13, 2020 as a precaution against COVID-19. File photo courtesy of PPAB

Congress transmits anti-terrorism bill to Malacañang

Jun 09, 2020 - 11:56 AM

(UPDATED) The anti-terrorism bill is now awaiting the signature of the President, unless he vetoes it. If he decides not to act on it, the bill will lapse into law after 30 days from receipt.

ANTI-TERRORISM BILL. Protesters gather inside the University of the Philippines campus on June 4, 2020, to protest the passing of the anti-terrorism bill at the House of Representatives. Photo by Lisa Marie David/Rappler

Democrats take a knee in U.S. Congress in George Floyd tribute

Jun 09, 2020 - 10:18 AM

They kneel for 8 minutes and 46 seconds to mark the length of time a white police officer pinned his knee on the neck of the 46-year-old Floyd

KNEELING. (L-R) Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ), Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-NY), Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA), Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), Rep. Karen Bass (D-CA) and House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) join fellow Democrats from the House and Senate kneel in silence for 8 minutes and 46 seconds to honor George Floyd in the U.S. Capitol Visitors Center June 08, 2020 in Washington, DC. Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images/AFP

Marcoleta: Why is Sky Cable allowed to operate with a lapsed franchise?

Jun 08, 2020 - 9:09 PM

The NTC cites Executive Order 205 signed by ex-president Cory Aquino in 1987, which 'removed' the franchise requirement for cable TV operators

ABS-CBN accuser Marcoleta asks Gabby Lopez to recite ‘Panatang Makabayan'

Jun 08, 2020 - 6:11 PM

Netizens are having none of 1-SAGIP Representative Rodante Marcoleta's antics, calling him a 'joke' for his treatment of the ABS-CBN chairman emeritus

THE ACCUSER. House Deputy Speaker Rodante Marcoleta interpellates ABS-CBN chairman emeritus Gabby Lopez on June 3, 2020. File photo by Angie de Silva/Rappler

Business groups oppose 'highly divisive' anti-terror bill

Jun 05, 2020 - 11:04 PM

During the coronavirus pandemic, what the country needs is 'national unity' and not a bill that 'poses clear and present danger to human rights,' 8 business groups say in a joint statement

JUNK TERROR BILL. In this file photo, militant groups march from Philcoa to the UP Quezon Hall in Quezon City on June 3, 2020, to protest against the passing of House Bill No. 6875, also known as the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020. File photo by Jire Carreon/Rappler

Cayetano warns gov't officials over 'inexcusable' Bayanihan law problems

Jun 05, 2020 - 8:05 PM

Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano says the House 'will be having an accounting' of the problematic implementation of the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act

SUBSIDY PROGRAM. A mother and her 7-month old son wait for the distribution of the government's emergency subsidy program on May 12, 2020 at Barangay San Jose in Rodriguez, Rizal. Photo by Angie de Silva/Rappler

Cayetano justifies anti-terror bill: ‘Let us read before we criticize’

Jun 05, 2020 - 2:41 PM

'Basahin natin before we criticize, because ang daling sabihin eh [na may] repression, wala ng democracy, draconian,' says House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano

House Speaker Allan Peter Cayetano at a press conference in Congress on Monday, February, 24, 2020. Photo by DARREN LANGIT/Rappler

House passes P1.5-trillion infra stimulus package to curb unemployment

Jun 05, 2020 - 1:38 PM

Under House Bill No. 6920, the government can tap into the fund for 3 fiscal years upon enactment. If passed this year, the funds will be valid until the end of the Duterte administration in 2022.

CONSTRUCTION IN A PANDEMIC. A worker carries mattresses during the construction of the back-up Barangay Isolation Center for coronavirus patients in Cebu City on May 27, 2020. Photo by Gelo Litonjua/Rappler

House OKs bill on coronavirus testing for vulnerable sectors

Jun 04, 2020 - 10:15 PM

The bill includes non-medical frontliners and quarantine pass holders who do not exhibit symptoms among those to be prioritized for testing

RT-PCR TEST FOR CORONAVIRUS. Health workers take the swab of a man atthe Noveleta Medcare Hospital in Cavite on May 16, 2020. Photo by Dennis Abrina/Rappler

Bill allowing class opening after August now up for Duterte’s signature

Jun 04, 2020 - 9:17 PM

Just like the senators did, representatives unanimously approve on final reading the bill giving the President the power to set the school opening at a later date

CLASSES IN A PANDEMIC. A Manila Health Department staff disinfects a classroom of M. Hizon Elementary School on June 1, 2020. Photo by KD Madrilejos/Rappler

'Recovery, not repression': Groups hit passing of anti-terror bill

Jun 04, 2020 - 7:25 PM

Various groups across key sectors say the approval of the bill reflects government's misplaced priorities

House approves P1.3-trillion economic stimulus package vs pandemic

Jun 04, 2020 - 6:02 PM

44 of the country's biggest business groups back the ARISE Philippines bill, but progressive lawmakers argue that it would only be a Band-aid solution to unemployment

MARKET DAY. A market vendor in Baguio City sells his products during the COVID-19 crisis on May 19, 2020. Photos by Mau Victa/Rappler

Military ‘pleased’ with Congress passage of anti-terror bill

Jun 04, 2020 - 4:51 PM

The bill does not seem to add any new power to the armed forces, says military spokesperson Brigadier General Edgard Arevalo

EDGARD AREVALO. Armed Forces of the Philippines spokesperson Brigadier General Edgard Arevalo during a media briefing in August 2019. File photo by Darren Langit/Rappler

House panel OKs Bayanihan 2 bill, P162-B standby fund for pandemic response

Jun 04, 2020 - 12:31 PM

The P162-billion standby fund would be used to buy RT-PCR test kits and fund cash-for-work programs, low-interest loans, and cash subsidies to those affected and displaced by the pandemic

LIFE IN A PANDEMIC. Residents of Sampaloc, Manila wanting to enlist in the government's Balik Probinsya Program makes a long line as they wait for their turn for a COVID-19 rapid test at Earnshaw Health Center on June 3, 2020. Photo by KD Madrilejos/Rappler

Once a primary author, Biazon withdraws support, votes no to anti-terror bill

Jun 04, 2020 - 1:19 AM

His reason? The House leadership did not allow any lawmaker to propose amendments to the bill that is an exact replica of what senators had passed

WITHDRAWAL. Muntinlupa Representative Ruffy Biazon explains his negative vote on the anti-terror bill via Zoom on June 3, 2020. Screenshot from the House of Representatives YouTube account

Mindanao lawmakers: Anti-terror bill will further incite violence, not end terrorism

Jun 03, 2020 - 11:23 PM

'This law is not meant to combat terrorism. It is meant to give the state the power to tag whomever they please as a terrorist. Hindi pa ba tayo natuto?' says House Deputy Speaker Mujiv Hataman of Basilan

JUNK TERROR BILL. A protester raises a sign against the anti-terror law outside the University of the Philippines' Quezon Hall in Quezon City on June 3, 2020. Photo by Jire Carreon/Rappler

'Draconian' anti-terror bill, feared to be used vs gov't critics, hurdles Congress

Jun 03, 2020 - 6:12 PM

(3rd UPDATE) The bill would allow the proposed Anti-Terror Council, which would be composed of top Cabinet officials, to order the arrest of people it deems to be terrorists

JUNK TERROR BILL. Groups from different sectors stage a protest caravan and noise barrage outside the gates of the House on June 3, 2020 demanding the scrapping of the anti-terrorism bill. Photo by Jire Carreon/Rappler

DOJ asserts: 'Gabby Lopez is a Filipino citizen since birth'

Jun 03, 2020 - 3:54 PM

Justice Undersecretary Emmeline Aglipay Villar also tells a joint House panel that ABS-CBN chairman emeritus Gabby Lopez did not lose his Filipino citizenship when he used his American passport to travel

ABS-CBN OFFICIALS. Executives of embattled network ABS-CBN listen as their chairman emeritus Gabby Lopez answers lawmakers' questions through video conferencing app Zoom in joint House hearing on June 3, 2020. Photo by Angie de Silva/Rappler

Gabby Lopez: I didn't renounce PH citizenship, take U.S. pledge of allegiance

Jun 03, 2020 - 11:39 AM

But ABS-CBN's chairman emeritus also admits that he had voted in the 2016 presidential elections in the United States

HOT SEAT. ABS-CBN chairman emeritus Gabby Lopez answers lawmakers' questions on his citizenship via the Zoom app on June 3, 2020. Photo by Angie de Silva/Rappler

House OKs on 2nd reading P1.5-trillion infra spending bill vs pandemic

Jun 03, 2020 - 12:43 AM

The bill is designed to complement the Balik Probinsya program to help address unemployment caused by the coronavirus crisis

COVID-19 RESPONSE. Construction workers build a back-up Barangay Isolation Center (BIC) in Cebu City on May 27, 2020, that can house 320 asymptomatic COVID-19 patients Photo by Gelo Litonjua/Rappler

House passes bill on assistance for banks to cushion pandemic effects

Jun 03, 2020 - 12:13 AM

The bill aims to provide incentives to financial institutions to sell their non-performing assets affected by the coronavirus crisis

House OKs bill penalizing discrimination vs COVID-19 frontliners, patients, repatriates

Jun 02, 2020 - 10:53 PM

If passed into law, the bill would punish violators with jail time between 6 months up to 10 years, or a fine ranging from P50,000 up to P1 million

FRONTLINERS. Workers were personal protective equipment inside the Manila Disaster Risk Reduction Building in Delpan, Tondo on June 2, 2020. Photo by Dante Diosina Jr/Rappler

Anti-terror bill one step away from House final approval

Jun 02, 2020 - 9:07 PM

Lawmakers are bent on ratifying the bill into law before Congress adjourns on Friday, June 5.

House one step away from passing P1.3-trillion stimulus package vs pandemic

Jun 01, 2020 - 7:46 PM

Lawmakers also approve on 2nd reading a bill requiring the government to prioritize for COVID-19 testing certain ‘vulnerable’ sectors, including Filipino workers

AID FOR MSMEs. Market vendors sell their products at Luzon Avenue Market in Quezon City on May 25, 2020. File photo by Darren Langit/Rappler

House passes bill increasing campaign expenses’ cap for candidates

Jun 01, 2020 - 6:16 PM

If passed into law, HB 6095 would allow candidates for president, vice president, and senators to spend P50 per voter, from the current P10

CAMPAIGN SEASON. In this file photo during the 2016 elections, a man walks past campaign banners of local politicians at Fairview in Quezon City. File photo by Martin San Diego/Rappler

Cardo vs Calida? SolGen hits back at Coco Martin over ABS-CBN closure

Jun 01, 2020 - 5:49 PM

Looks like Cardo Dalisay has earned himself another enemy in the person of the Solicitor General

Calida: ‘I am not at loggerheads with Congress’ over ABS-CBN shutdown

Jun 01, 2020 - 4:09 PM

Solicitor General Jose Calida says this weeks after telling the public to blame lawmakers for the closure of ABS-CBN

SOLGEN VS CONGRESS? Solicitor General Jose Calida attends a press conference at Camp Crame on February 10, 2020 during the CIDG's 67th Founding Anniversary. File photo by Darren Langit/Rappler

Representatives Vilma Santos, Loren Legarda defend ABS-CBN: Network ‘went above and beyond’ duty

Jun 01, 2020 - 2:30 PM

Sol Aragones and Joy Myra Tambunting also join former ABS-CBN personalities who are now in Congress in pushing for the renewal of the media giant's franchise