2015 in the Philippines details events of note that happened in the Philippines in the year 2015. International events that are connected, or concerned with the Philippines are also included in this significant and important article.
January 8 – An inmate died and 19 were hurt after a grenade exploded in the maximum security compound of the NBP. This lead Bureau of Corrections order a lockdown of 14,500 prisoners in the compound on January 9, suspending their visitation rights. Gang leaders were isolated from the rest of the prisoners.
January 9 – The Supreme Court has declared its decision on the unconstitutionality of the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF), popularly termed as the pork barrel funds, final and executory. It can be remembered in November of the previous year, the said court held that "PDAF and previous pork barrel funds violated the constitutional principle of separation of powers in allowing lawmakers to wield, in varying gradations, non-oversight, post-enactment authority in vital areas of budget execution."
January 12 – Sandiganbayan had found former Board of Nursing member Virginia Diodola-Madeja guilty of violating the Anti-Corrupt Practices Act and the PRC Modernization Act of 2000 and was sentenced to 7 years in prison for leaking questions in the June 2006 Nursing Licensure Examinations. In addition to her imprisonment, she was also ordered to pay a fine of 100 thousand pesos and was barred from holding any public office.
January 23 – An explosion occurred near the bus terminal in Barangay Guiwan, Zamboanga City; 2 people were killed and 53 were injured. The Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) were tagged behind the explosion after the failed jailbreak attempt of several ASG members in the prison.
February 3 – The Supreme Court affirms the unconstitutionality of the Disbursement Acceleration Program on its new ruiling. Voting 13-0, the SC partially granted the government's Motion for Reconsideration on the DAP. Projects and programs that not covered by the General Approriations Act is valid and the authors may be liable.
AFP declared its all-out offensive campaign against the MILF break away group, the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters. On March 3, Maguindanao was placed under the state of calamity due to the continuing battle between the military forces and the BIFF. In an encounter happened on March 7, the AFP confirmed that 139 members including commanders of the BIFF were killed, including a kin of BIFF founder Ameril Umbra Kato. On March 30, The Armed Forces of the Philippines announced the termination of the all-out offensive against the rebel group.
March 6 – The Office of the Ombudsman's special panel of investigators filed complaints against Vice President 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. On March 11, The Ombudsman was suspended Makati Mayor Junjun Binay and other city officials for 6 months in connection with this case. Binay has not followed the decision. On March 16, plunder and graft charges were filed against Vice President Binay and Mayor Binay for the alleged overpricing of the Makati City Hall Building II. The elder Binay was then city mayor and the younger Binay a city councilor at the time of the construction. On the same date, the Court of Appeals has released a temporary restraining order for the preventive suspension of Mayor Binay. On April 6, The Court of Appeals has indefinitely extended its halt order on the preventive suspension of embattled Makati City Mayor Junjun Binay, as the appellate court issued a writ of preliminary injunction in favor of the local chief executive. On the other hand, Acting Mayor Romulo Peña was ordered by the Department of Interior and Local Government to step down and return from his previous post as vice mayor. On November 11, Dismissed Makati Mayor Binay has won his case in the Supreme Court against the Office of the Ombudsman in relation to his case.
Sajid Ampatuan, the son of Andal Ampatuan Sr., has been ordered to be temporarily released by a Quezon City court after he posted bail for an amount of P11.6 million; Sajid was charged with murder in connection with the Maguindanao massacre on November 23, 2009 that had killed 57 people including 31 journalist.
April 22 – SC released 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.
May 6 – The Court of Tax Appeals has lifted the warrant of arrest it issued against Jeane Catherine Napoles, the daughter of Janet Lim Napoles, after she failed to show up for her arraignment on a P17.46-million tax evasion case.
May 11 – The Court of Appeals has frozen 242 bank accounts and insurance policies belonging to Vice President Jejomar Binay, some members of his family and close associates, who are suspected of being his dummies.
The Office of the Ombudsman has filed graft charges against Optical Media Board chairman Ronnie Ricketts and four others for allegedly allowing the return of confiscated copyright violating DVDs and VCDs to the Sky High Marketing Corporation in 2010.
July 3 – Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales has ordered the filing of graft charges against former Metro Rail Transit 3 General Manager Al Vitangcol III and five incorporators of Philippine Trans Rail Management and Services Corporation in connection with alleged irregularities in the MRT-3's interim maintenance contract.
July 21 – President Benigno Aquino III signed into law two of his priority economic bills: the Philippine Competition Act (Republic Act No. 10667), as well as amendments to the 50-year-old Cabotage Law (Republic Act No. 10668), during a ceremony in Malacañang attended by members of Congress.
Two Coast Guard officers who kidnapped by the Abu Sayyaf Group were escaped after the massive operation by the military against the terrorist group in Sulu.
President Aquino has signed Republic Act 10669 into law that declaring August 18 of every year as Jesse Robredo Day in honoring the late interior and local government secretary Jesse Robredo who died in a plane crash in the waters off Masbate City on August 18, 2012.
August 24 – President Benigno Aquino III has given instructions for 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. 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.
August 27–31 – Iglesia ni Cristo members staged demonstrations near the DOJ office and later in EDSA to call on Sec. De Lima to focus on important issues such as the SAF 44 case and not on the case filed by an ex-INC minister against Sanggunian members. They protests on alleged violations of the separation of church and state.
September 8 – President Aquino III has announced the appointment of former Liberal Party (LP) Secretary General Mel Senen Sarmiento as the Secretary of Interior and Local Government, replacing Mar Roxas.
September 18 – 1 person was killed in a bomb explosion on a bus in Zamboanga City; 28 were injured.
September 20 – Joel Reyes, former Palawan governor and his brother, Mario, former Coron, Palawan mayor were arrested by Thai police due to overstaying in Phuket, Thailand. The Reyes Brothers are primary suspects in the killing of Palawan environmental journalist Gerry Ortega in January, 2011, the two deported back to Manila, four days later.
September 30 – Former Abra governor Vicente Valera, found guilty with 2 counts of murder, sentenced to up to 40 years in prison in relation to the killing of his rival, former Abra Representative Luis Bersamin in 2006.
October 9 – The Office of the Ombudsman has ordered the dismissal in service and the eventual perpetual disqualification to run in any political positions for former Makati City Mayor Junjun Binay, in connection with the overpriced Makati City Hall Building II.
November 3 – The Court of Appeals had started to hear the writ of amparo and habeas corpus petitions of expelled Iglesia ni Cristo minister Lowell Menorca II against the leaders of the church, including executive minister Eduardo Manalo and three members of the Sanggunian, in connection with the illegal detention and abduction of Menorca by the church officials.
November 24 – The Quezon City RTC has found Jason Ivler, the principal suspect in the ambush of the Renato Ebarle, Jr. son of former Presidential Chief of Staff Undersecretary Renato Ebarle, Sr. guilty over the crime of murder, happened 6 years ago. He was sentenced reclusion perpetua or at least 30 years in jail and ordered to pay more than P9.3 million pesos in damages to the Ebarle family members.
U.S. Marine L. Cpl. Joseph Scott Pemberton, suspect in the death of Jennifer Laude one year ago, was found guilty of homicide by the Olongapo Regional Trial Court with a sentence 6–12 years in prison. The court also ordered for Pemberton to pay ₱4.5 million (US$130,000) to the Laude family.
Grace Poe was disqualified by the COMELEC 2nd Division from being president after failing to reach the 10-year residency requirement for a presidential candidate.
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.
December 9 – The Office of the President has ordered a 60-day preventive suspension order against Cebu City Mayor Michael L. 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.
December 18 – President Aquino declared a state of national calamity due to the onslaught of Typhoon Melor (locally named as: Nona) that hit different provinces in Luzon and Visayas.
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. 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."
January 20 – The International Monetary Fund has upgraded its economic growth forecasts for the Philippines. In the said forecast, the country's economic growth in 2015 is expected to be at 6.3%, and 6.2% in 2016. In the 2nd quarter report, the forecast slightly raised to 6.7% percent compared to 6.6% due to higher government spending.
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.
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.
July 6 – DOH confirmed the second detected case of MERS-CoV in the country. 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; 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.
August 26 – President Aquino signed the Republic Act 10676 or more known as the Student-Athletes Protection Act that lead to the removal of the two-year residency rules in collegiate leagues including UAAP.
October 18, Boxing – Pinoy Pride 33: Philippines vs. The World at StubHub Center in Carson, California, Donnie Nietes, Albert and Jason Pagara and Mark Magsayo are all emerged victorious against their Latino counterparts.
April 11 – Cherie Gil hailed as the Best Actress in the 2015 ASEAN International Film Festival and Awards Night, on her role as opera singer in the film Sonata. Nora Aunor was honored as the Lifetime Achievement Awardee.
May 7 – In a formal rites, Vigan City was formally introduced to the public as part of the "New 7 Wonder Cities".
June 16 – The Supreme Court released a Temporary Restraining Order for the construction of the controversial Torre de Manila condominium also known as the National photobomber, which culture advocates have slammed for destroying the view of the historic Rizal Shrine.
July 22 – American singer Chris Brown was placed under the Philippine government's immigration lookout bulletin, hours before his solo concert at the SM Mall of Asia Arena. Brown was able to leave Manila on July 24 after he had filed a departure clearance due to a legal issue between him and Iglesia ni Cristo that prevented him from leaving the Philippines.
August 15 – Martika Ramirez Escobar's creation "Pusong Bato" and Angelie Mae Macalanda's Wawa was given top honors for both Best Short Film, and Special Jury Prize, respectively in the 2015 Cinemalaya Awards Night.
October 12 – The Church of God International's gospel choir, Ang Dating Daan Chorale, broke the world record for the largest gospel choir when 8,688 chorale members performed at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City.
December 6 – Miss Philippines Angelia Ong was named the 2015 Miss Earth in its coronation night held at the Marx Halle in Vienna, Austria, marking the first time in the pageant's nearly 15-year history that a country has won back-to-back titles.