2015 in the Philippines

2015 in the Philippines details events of note that happened in the Philippines in 2015. International events that are connected, or concerned with the Philippines are also included in this significant and important article.

Philippines 2015
in
the Philippines

Decades:
See also:

The year was designated by the Department of Tourism as Visit the Philippines Year.[1]

Incumbents

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Benigno S.
Aquino III
Jejomar C.
Binay Sr.
Franklin M.
Drilon
Feliciano R.
Belmonte Jr.
Maria Lourdes
P.A. Sereno

Events

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January

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Pope Francis' arrival ceremony at Villamor Airbase.
 
The 44 police officers who perished during the clash.

February

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March

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Japanese battleship Musashi (1944). The wreck of the ship was found on March 4 in the Sibuyan Sea.
  • March 4 – The wreck of the World War II Japanese battleship Musashi is found by Paul Allen and his team in the Sibuyan Sea. Musashi was one of the two biggest Japanese battleships ever built; it was attacked and sunk by American aircraft on October 24, 1944, in the Battle of Leyte Gulf.[32]
  • March 6 – The Office of the Ombudsman's special panel of investigators files complaints against Vice President Jejomar Binay, Makati Mayor Junjun Binay, and 22 individuals, in connection with the overpriced Makati City Hall II Parking Building. Ombudsman will start the preliminary probe after the filing of the cases.[33] On March 11, the Ombudsman suspends Junjun Binay and other city officials for 6 months in connection with the case. Binay defies the decision.[34] On March 16, plunder and graft charges are filed against the two Binays for the alleged overpricing of the building. The elder Binay was city mayor and the younger Binay a city councilor at the time of the construction.[35] On the same date, the Court of Appeals releases a temporary restraining order for the preventive suspension of Mayor Binay.[36] On April 6, the Court of Appeals indefinitely extends its halt order on the preventive suspension of Junjun Binay, as the appellate court issues a writ of preliminary injunction in his favor.[37] On the other hand, Acting Mayor Romulo Peña is ordered by the Department of the Interior and Local Government to step down and return to his previous post as vice mayor.[38] On November 11, the Supreme Court reverses the Ombudsman's decision to suspend Junjun Binay.[39]
  • March 8 – British human rights lawyer Amal Clooney files a case for the continued detention of former president and Pampanga congresswoman Gloria Macapagal Arroyo against the government before the UN's Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, a body under the United Nations Commission on Human Rights.[40] On October 2, the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention has releases its opinion that the detention of former President Arroyo "violates international law" and is "arbitrary on a number of grounds."[41]
  • March 9:
    • DFA confirms the execution of Joven Esteva, an Overseas Filipino Worker who was charged of murder on the killing of his employer in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia in 2007.[42]
    • A Quezon City court orders the temporary release of Sajid Ampatuan, the son of Andal Ampatuan Sr., after Sajid posts bail of P11.6 million; Sajid was charged with murder in connection with the Maguindanao massacre on November 23, 2009, that killed 57 people including 31 journalists.[43]
  • March 15 – Justice for Islamic Movement founding chairman and former vice chairman of the BIFF, Mohamad Ali Tambako and five others are arrested in General Santos.[44]
  • March 17 – The Philippines submits its 3,000-page document containing additional volumes of arguments, evidence and maps seeking to nullify China's sweeping claim over the resource-rich South China Sea to the Hague-based Permanent Court of Arbitration.[45]
  • March 20 – The AFP transports 17 suspected members of the Abu Sayyaf Group from the Zamboanga City jail to Camp Bagong Diwa in Bicutan, Taguig, over security concerns raised by the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology.[46]
  • March 22 – The first of three new C-295 medium lift aircraft under the Philippine Air Force Modernization Program arrives at Clark Air Base in Pampanga.[47]
  • March 26 – President Aquino signs Republic Act No. 10656 into law that postpones the Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) elections to October 2016.[48] This postponement was the fourth time. On March 25, the Commission on Elections had deferred the SK elections to April 25.[49] Previously, the election was supposedly to be held on October 28, 2013; it was again postponed to February 21, 2015.[50][51]

April

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On April 14, Janet Lim Napoles was found guilty for the serious illegal detention case.
  • April 14 – In connection with the serious illegal detention case, Janet Lim Napoles, the mastermind of the PDAF Scam, is found guilty beyond reasonable doubt and is sentenced to reclusion perpetua.[54]
  • April 20 – The AFP releases the pictures of the continued reclamation of China in the South China Sea.[55]
  • April 21 – The Supreme Court voids an agreement between the Commission on Elections and Smartmatic-TIM for the P300-million diagnostics and repair of the 80,000 Precinct Count Optical Scan machines for the 2016 polls.[56]
  • April 22 – The Supreme Court releases a Temporary Restraining Order for the memorandum issued by the Commission on Higher Education on the removal of Filipino and Literature college subjects as part of the K to 12 education program.[57]
  • April 29 – The execution of convicted Filipina drug mule Mary Jane Veloso in Indonesia is postponed.[58][59]
 
Abdul Basit Usman
 
First Page of the Executive Order creating Negros Island Region (click for larger version).

June

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July

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August

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  • August 7 – Senator Gringo Honasan, former CIBAC congressman and now TESDA chair Joel Villanueva, and seven other former and incumbent lawmakers are charged before the Ombudsman in connection with the pork barrel scam.[106]
  • August 16 – Pamana, a 3-year-old Philippine Eagle, is shot dead inside her forest sanctuary in Mount Hamiguitan, Davao Oriental, 2 months after she freed in time for Independence Day.[107]
  • August 17 – The Philippine Air Force receives 10 brand-new helicopters for combat utility and attack to be used for internal security operations.[108]
  • August 18 – The Supreme Court grants the bail petition of Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile, one of the three senators facing graft and plunder charges in connection with the alleged pork barrel scam.[109]
  • August 20:
    • Two Coast Guard officers who were kidnapped by the Abu Sayyaf Group escape after a massive operation by the AFP against the group in Sulu.[110][111]
    • President Aquino signs Republic Act 10669 into law, declaring August 18 of every year as Jesse Robredo Day in honor of interior and local government secretary Jesse Robredo who died in a plane crash in the waters off Masbate City on August 18, 2012.[112]
  • August 21 – The Supreme Court]affirms the conviction of two Alpha Phi Omega (APO) members for the hazing of University of the Philippines Los Baños student Marlon Vilanueva in 2006, the first conviction under Republic Act 8049 or the Anti-Hazing Law.[113]
  • August 24 – President Aquino orders the Bureau of Customs to stop the physical inspections of balikbayan boxes unless X-ray and K-9 examinations give rise to suspicions that they contain prohibited items.[114] On the Senate hearing last September 3, Bureau of Customs chief Alberto Lina went apologized to the inconvenience brought about the alleged opening of balikbayan boxes by Customs personnel.[115]
  • August 2731 – Iglesia ni Cristo members stage demonstrations near the Department of Justice and later in EDSA against Justice Secretary Leila de Lima's investigation on its leadership controversy, alleging violations of the separation of church and state.[116]

September

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Epifanio de los Santos Avenue

October

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  • October 9 – The Ombudsman orders the dismissal in service and the eventual perpetual disqualification to run in any political positions for former Makati Mayor Junjun Binay, in connection with the overpriced Makati City Hall Building II.[126]
  • October 13 – The MILF and the Moro National Liberation Front sign a "unified declaration" calling for the approval the draft Bangsamoro Basic Law as an embodiment of each other's separate peace pacts with Malacañang.[127]
  • October 1728 – PAGASA confirms that the haze from Indonesia has reached Mindanao. Typhoon Lando and the northeast monsoon are also linked to the haze.[128][129] The haze affects operations of airports in Mindanao and the Visayas.[130] On October 28, PAGASA declares that the country was free from haze.[131]
 
Typhoon Lando's Track
  • October 18 – 46 are killed , 82 are injured and 268,877 families are affected after heavy rains and floods due to Typhoon Lando hits Luzon.[132]
  • October 21 – The Ombudsman sacks five officials of the Technology Resource Center, particularly Deputy Director General Dennis Cunanan for their alleged participation in the PDAF scam.[133]
  • October 26 – President Aquino signs the amended Public Employment Service Office bill into law during the 15th National PESO Congress at the Philippine International Convention Center in Pasay.[134]
  • October 30 – The United Nations backs the Permanent Court of Arbitration on its ruling that it has the jurisdiction to hear the maritime claim of the Philippines against China.[135]

November

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December

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  • December 1:
    • U.S. Marine L. Cpl. Joseph Scott Pemberton, suspect in the death of Jennifer Laude one year ago, is found guilty of homicide by the Olongapo Regional Trial Court and is sentenced to 6–12 years in prison.[145] The court also ordered for Pemberton to pay ₱4.5 million (US$130,000) to the Laude family.[146]
    • Senator Grace Poe is disqualified by the Commission of Elections 2nd Division from being president after failing to reach the 10-year residency requirement for a presidential candidate.[147]
 
President Benigno Aquino III inspecting a FA-50PH Golden Eagle
  • December 5 – The Philippine Air Force receives two FA-50 lead-in fighter jets, two C-295 medium-lift fixed-wing aircraft and six Augusta 109 attack helicopters for territorial defense, search and rescue, disaster response and combat operations.[148]
  • December 9 – The Office of the President orders a 60-day preventive suspension order against Cebu City Mayor Mike Rama for alleged culpable violation of the constitution, grave abuse of authority, grave misconduct and oppression over the destruction of local government projects in his city.[149]
  • December 11 – Grace Poe's certificate of candidacy is cancelled by the Commission of Elections 1st Division after a 2–1 vote, barring her from running as president after failing to comply with the ten-year residency requirement by the Philippine Constitution.[150][151]
 
Typhoon Melor (Nona) approaching Samar
  • December 12General Trias, Cavite becomes a city through ratification of Republic Act 10675 which was approved on August 19.
  • December 1317Typhoon Melor (locally called Nona) makes landfall in Northern Samar and made more landfalls before dissipating. Forty-two are killed during the typhoon and damages cost over ₱6 billion ($136 million).[152][153]
  • December 18 – President Aquino declares a state of national calamity due to the onslaught of Typhoon Melor (locally named as: Nona) that hit different provinces in Luzon and Visayas.[154]

Holidays

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2015 will be the 119th year of the commemoration of Dr. Jose P. Rizal's death.

On July 17, 2014, the government had already announced at least 18 Philippine holidays for 2015 as declared by virtue of Proclamation No. 831, series of 2014.[155] Note that in the list, holidays in italics are "special non-working holidays," those in bold are "regular holidays," and those in non-italics and non-bold are "special holidays for schools."

In addition, several other places observe local holidays, such as the foundation of their town. These are also "special days."

Business and economy

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Health

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  • February 11:
    • The Department of Health (DOH) released a report on the recorded cases of Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) in the country last 2014 alone had reached 6,011. Records in previous years had showed that the prevalence of the disease was high compared to the 2013 record cases of 4,814. All in all, there were already 22,527 cases of HIV disease since 1984.[170][171]
    • A 32-year-old Filipino nurse from Saudi Arabia, who was also 1 month pregnant, was the country's first Middle East respiratory syndrome-coronavirus (MERS-CoV) case, DOH confirmed after the test turned out to be positive of the said virus.[172] The Evangelista Medical Hospital in San Pedro, Laguna, the facility where the patient was first admitted, was temporarily closed by DOH for fourteen days. On February 17, all those who had exposure or had contact with the said nurse were tested negative of the said virus.[173] On March 6, The Department of Foreign Affairs confirmed three Filipino female healthcare workers in Saudi Arabia who were infected with MERS-CoV.[174]
  • February 19 – In a report published by the World Health Organization, the Philippines was one of the countries in the Western Pacific that were reported to have the highest dengue cases.[175]
  • February 23 – DOH confirmed the death of a returning female OFW musician from China, few days after she arrived last February 14. The death might be a possible case of the Bird Flu virus.[176]
  • July 6 – DOH confirmed the second detected case of MERS-CoV in the country.[177] The patient who had contracted the virus was from the Middle East and was referred to the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine last July 4. Another person, who was also showing symptoms, was placed in isolation after he had close contact with the said patient;[178] eight others, who also had contacted with the patient, were identified. DOH is in the process of tracking all the people whom the patient had contacted with.[179]
  • July 10 – About 2,000 people in the Caraga region, mostly school children, experienced food poisoning after reportedly eating durian and mangosteen candies.[180][181][182] The next day, the Department of Health in Caraga region has declared a food poisoning outbreak due to the incident.[183]
  • July 29 – Around 300 school children from various public schools in Zamboanga del Sur, Zamboanga del Norte and Misamis Occidental were rushed to hospitals after they complained of stomach pain and vomiting after taking deworming medicines during the nationwide deworming activity of the Department of Health.[184]
  • October 1Bulacan is placed under a state of calamity due to increased cases of dengue. Since January, more than 11 were recorded deaths due to the virus.[185]
  • December 23 – The Philippines became the first Asian country to approve the sale of the world's first dengue vaccine, the Dengvaxia.[186]

Sports

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Manny Pacquiao lost the boxing match against Floyd Mayweather Jr.

Entertainment and culture

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Manila Metropolitan Theater.

Deaths

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January
February
March
April
May
June
July
August
September
October
November
December

See also

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References

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