50 General Knowledge and Interesting Facts About the Philippine Senate and Senators
The Philippine Senate or upper house is one of the two houses of the legislative body of the country the other being the lower house or House of Representatives. It is composed of 24 Senators who are elected at large. Here are some of the most significant and interesting facts about the Senate of the Philippines.
1. The richest elected senator ever is Manuel “Manny” B. Villar. This billionaire legislator is also one of the richest Filipino. He has a net worth of $620 million dollars.
2. Geronima Tomelden- Pecson is the first female senator of the Philippines. Tomelden-Pecson was elected in 1947.
3. Philippine Senate Presidents who became President of the Republic of the Philippines were Manuel L. Quezon, Manuel A. Roxas and Ferdinand E. Marcos.
4. Senators who became Vice-President of the Republic of the Philippines were Sergio Osmeña, Elpido Quirino, Carlos P. Garcia, Emmanuel Pelaez, Fernando Lopez, Salvador H. Laurel, Teofisto Guingona Jr., Arturo Tolentino, Joseph Estrada, Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, Noli De Castro.
5. The only Philippine Presidents who were not Senators upon assuming the Presidency were Emilio F. Aguinaldo, Ramon Magsaysay, Diosdado P. Macapagal, Corazon C. Aquino and Fidel V. Ramos.
The Senate of the Philippines in Pasay City
6. The first woman to be re-elected senator was Eva Estrada Kalaw.
7. Famous soldiers who were elected as Senators are Ruperto Kangleon, Macario Peralta, Jr.,Gregorio Honassan, Rodolfo Biazon and Antonio Trillanes IV.
8. Famous broadcasters and journalists who became senators include Orly Mercado, Noli De Castro and Loren Legarda
9. Of the 23 current senators, the youngest is Antonio F. Trillanes IV. He was born on August 6. 1971. The second youngest is Alan Peter S. Cayetano – born on October 28, 1970.
10. Benigno S. Aquino Jr. is the youngest elected senator in the country’s history. He was 34 years of age when he was elected in 1967.
11. Lorenzo M. Tañada is the longest-serving senator in the history of the Philippines. He served as a senator of the Republic for 24 years from December 30, 1947 to December 30, 1971.
12. Eulogio A. Rodríguez, Sr. is the longest serving Philippine Senate President after Manuel L. Quezon. He held the post for more than 10 years from April 30, 1952 to April 17, 1953 and May 20, 1953 to April 5, 1963.
13. The oldest elected senators in the Philippine Senate and the oldest Senate President is Juan Ponce Enrile. He was last elected as senator at the age of 86 in 2010 and is now 88 years of age and holds the Senate Presidency.
14. Two other senators who were elected at the age of 80 or more are Arturo Tolentino and Joker Arroyo. Tolentino was 82 when elected as senator in 1987 and was 88 years of age when he left office in 1992. Arroyo is 80 years old when last elected in 2007 – he is now 85 years old.
15. Eulogio A. Rodríguez, Sr. was 78 years of age when last elected to the senate; Alfredo Lim was also 78; Quintin Paredes was 74; Edgardo Angara is 73; Mariano Jesus Cuenco was 71; Lorenzo M. Tañada was 71; Aquilino Pimentel Jr. is 71 and Blas Ople was 71.
16. One of the tallest, if not the tallest, elected senator of the Philippine Senate is Robert Jaworski. He is 6 feet 1 inches tall.
17. The smallest elected senator of the Philippines is Gloria Macapagal Arroyo. She stands at 4 ft and11 inches.
18. One of the shortest, if not the shortest, elected male senator of the Philippines is Juan M. Flavier
19. One of the most popular Filipino entertainers-turned-politicians is Rogelio Dela Rosa. Others are Eddie Ilarde, Joseph Estrada, Ramon Revilla Sr., Tito Sotto, Lito Lapid, Bong Revilla, and Jinggoy Estrada.
20. Police officers who became senators include Alfredo Lim, Robert Barbers and Panfilo Lacson.
21. The 3 most famous basketball players who were elected as senators were Ambrosio Padilla, Freddie Webb and Robert Jaworski.
22. An elected Senator serves for 6-year terms. Half or 12 of the 24 senators are elected every 3 years.
23. During the restoration of the Senate by the 1987 Constitution, the 24 elected senators served a full 6 year terms from 1987 to 1992.
24. The to 12 of the 24 senators who were elected in 1992 served for 6 years from 1992 to 1998 while the next 12 served only from 1992 to 1995. Thereafter, each senator elected serves the full 6 years.
25. Term limits for senatorial seat is 2 terms which is equivalent to 12 years.
Th Senate Session Hall
26. The most recent Senate election was held on May 10, 2010 and the next election for senators will be on May 13, 2013.
27. The Senate is headed by the Senate President and currently headed by Senator Juan Ponce Enrile.
28. Other officers in the Senate include Senate President Pro Tempore, Majority Leader and Minority Leader who were elected by the Senators from among themselves.
29. Other important positions on the Senate are Senate Secretary and the Senate Sergeant at Arms who were elected by the Senators from among the employees and staff of the Senate.
30. The 24 senators meet, conduct sessions and do business at the GSIS Building, Financial Center located along Macapagal Blvd., in Pasay City.
31. The Upper House is the only body that can ratify or concur with treaties such as US Bases Treaty and the only body that can try impeachment cases such as the Corona Impeachment case.
32. During impeachment cases, the Senate President acts as the Presiding Judge.
33. The bicameral Philippine Legislature was created on August 29, 1916 by virtue of the Jones Law.
34. Manuel L. Quezon was the Senate President for 19 years from 1916 to 1935 while the lower house was headed by Sergio Osmeña.
35. Manuel Luis Molina Quezon is the longest serving Senate President in Philippine History.
The Legislative Building during the 1930s
36. One of the most important bodies in the Senate is the Senate Electoral Tribunal or SET. It is composed of 6 senators and 3 Supreme Court justices.
37. The SET determines election protests on already-seated senators. The most recent was in 2011 were Miguel Zubiri was unseated because of the electoral protest filed by Aquilino Pimentel III.
38. In order to qualify as a senatorial candidate, one must be a natural-born Filipino and at least 3 years of age.
39. Chief Justices of the Philippine Supreme Court who were elected senators were Marcelo Fernan and Jose Yulo.
40. Brothers, sisters, sons, daughters, grandsons and granddaughters of Philippine Presidents who were elected as senators;
- Gerardo Roxas – son of Manuel Roxas, Mar Roxas – grandson of Manuel Roxas;
- Leticia Ramos-Shahani – sister of Fidel V. Ramos;
- Sergio V. Osmeña Jr. – son of Sergio Osmeña, Sergio Osmeña III and John Henry Osmeña – grandsons of Sergio Osmeña;
- Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. – son of Ferdinand E. Marcos;
- Ramon Magsaysay Jr. – son of Ramon B. Magsaysay and Genaro Magsaysay – brother of Ramon Magsaysay;
- Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo – daughter of Diosdado Macapagal;
- Sotero Laurel II and Salvador H. Laurel – sons of Jose P. Laurel;
- Jinggoy Estrada – son of Joseph Estrada, Loi Estrada – wife of Joseph Estrada;
- Benigno Simeon Aquino III – son of Corazon C. Aquino
*41. Benigno Aquino Jr – husband of Corazon Aquino, Agapito Aquino, bother of Benigno Jr., brother-in-law of Corazon Aquino and uncle of Benigno III, Maria Teresa Aquino-Oreta – sister of Benigno Jr, sister-in-law of Corazon Aquino and aunt of Benigno Simeon III.
*42. Benigno Simeon Aquino Sr. – grandfather of Benigno Simeon III and father of Benigno Jr, Agapito and Tessie.
43. The Aquino clan of Tarlac has had the most number of senators in Philippine History – 5 all in all.
44. The Osmeña clan of Cebu had 4 senators. The Roxas clan of Capiz, Laurel clan of Batangas and Estrada clan of San Juan had 3 each.
45. The poorest senator ever to be elected in the Philippine Senate is Juan Flavier. Currently, of the 23 elected senators, the poorest is Antonio V. Trillianes IV.
Juam Ponce Enrile - the current Senate President
46. The second current richest senator is Ralph Recto and the second poorest is Francis Escudero.
47. The Senate has 39 permanent committees and as of 2011 has 35 oversight committees.
48. The monthly salary of a senator is P35, 000.00 while the Senate President receives P40, 000.00
49. The 9th, 10th, 11th, 13th and 14th Congress of the Philippines had 4 female senator-elect – the highest in Philippine Senate history.
50. Currently, there are only 23 senators because Benigno Simeon Aquino III was elected President of the Republic of the Philippines in 2010. His term as a senator should have ended in 2013.