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Top 10 Most Memorable Moments in the Philippine Congress

This article lists the top ten most memo- rable moments that occurred in the Philippine Congress.

13th Month Pay in the Philippines

10. Rape! A Congressional hearing investigated reports that Iraqi soldiers oc- cupying Kuwait were raping Filipina domestic helpers during the Persian Gulf Crisis in 1990. Department of Foreign Affairs Secretary Raul Manglapus was severely criticized for quoting Confucius’ “If rape is inevitable, relax and enjoy it.”

9. Brunei Beauties In 1993, Sena- tor Ernesto Maceda demanded an investigation into the alleged flesh trade of Filipina models and entertainers in Brunei. This investigation fizzled when, instead of being hailed as a hero, Maceda caught a lot of flak from those very same models and entertainers who indignantly denied his expose.

8. Kickback In the 2007 investigation of the NBN-ZTE deal, Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago walked out of the hearing in a huff. Her parting words: “I resent being made part of this petty squabble. Pinag-aawayan n’yo lang ang mga kickback n’yo!”

7. I Accuse In 2000, Senator Teofisto Guingona delivered this privilege speech in the senate accusing President Estrada of pocketing millions of pesos from jueteng payoffs, spark- ing the impeachment trial that led to Estrada’s ouster in EDSA Dos and later Estrada’s convic- tion for plunder.

In the Philippines, 13th month pay is one-twelfth of the basic salary of an employee within a calendar year, to be paid to the employee not later than December 24 of that year.

Presidential Decree No. 851, issued by President Fer- dinand E. Marcos on December 16, 1975, mandated the payment of 13th month pay before December 24 of every year, by all employers to their employees receiving less than Php 1000 per month regardless of nature of employ- ment. The stated purpose for the issuance was “so that they may properly celebrate Christmas and New Year.”

Exceptions The implementing rules of PD 851 provide that an employer may also give one-half of the 13th month pay before the opening of the school year and one-half in December. The exceptions were distressed employers or those who suffered substantial losses, the government, employers already paying 13th month pay or its equiva- lent, employers of household helpers or those in the per- sonal service of another, and employers of those paid on purely commission, boundary, or task basis and those who are paid a fixed amount for performing a specific work, irrespective of the time consumed in the performance thereof, except where the workers are paid on ...

6. Hello, Garci! In 2006, House Minority Leader Francis Escudero delivered a privilege speech in Congress regarding an alleged wiretapped conversation between President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and Com- elec Commissioner Virgilio Garcillano during the election period, sparking investigation into the “Hello Garci?” controversy and the filing of several impeachment complaints against the president...

For the complete article, visit www.wikipilipinas.org

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