MRT Holdings oppose DOTC’s purchase of new trains + more things you might have missed today

An extramarital dating website is launched in the Philippines, the Globe website was apparently hacked, and more.


( Busy day, Spotters? We quickly recap 10 things you might have missed while you were off the radar.


1. MRT owner opposes DOTC’s purchase of new trains

MRT Holdings (MRTH) is worried that the 48 new trains purchased by the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) may not be compatible with the existing MRT railway system. MRT-3 is using double-articulated Light Rail Vehicles (LRV) powered by electricity. The expertise of the manufacturer, Dalian Locomotive and Rolling Stock of China, is locomotives, similar to the likes of Philippine National Railways. MRTH Chairman Bob Sobrepeña fears that Dalian might manufacture a prototype not suitable for MRT-3.


DOTC has procured these trains and the prototype is expected to be delivered third quarter of next year.


2. House to adopt Senate version of bonus tax bill

The House of Representatives will adopt the Senate version of the bill exempting Christmas bonuses from income tax to speed up the approval of the measure, leaders of the chamber said yesterday. Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. and Majority Leader Neptali Gonzales Jr. said the Senate's ceiling of Christmas or year-end bonus exempted from income tax is at P82,000. The House’s version, meanwhile, has a ceiling of P70,000.


3. P100K reward for Maserati driver who attacked constable

The chairman of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) is offering a P100,000 reward for any information that will lead to the arrest of a driver of a blue Maserati who attacked a traffic enforcer yesterday. In an interview, MMDA Chairman Francis Tolentino condemned the assault on MMDA traffic enforcer Jorbe Adriatico who was punched in the face and dragged several meters by the Maserati driver.



Adriatico earlier identified the Maserati driver as Joseph Russell Ingco of Valencia Hills, Quezon City, based on the license obtained by police from the Land Transportation Office.


4. Chiz Escudero asks: Where did P137B for Yolanda go?

Senator Francis Escudero, chairman of the Senate Committee on Finance on Thursday questioned the government’s handling of the P137-billion that Congress earlier set aside for the rehabilitation and reconstruction in areas affected by supertyphoon Yolanda. "I have to ask them naubos na ba nila ’yong P137 billion? Ganoon na ba kalaki ang nagastos natin sa Yolanda affected areas?" Escudero said. "Quite frankly, I don't see it, I don't feel it, and certainly the  people in Region 8 don't see it and feel it either."

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Escudero said P37 billion was allocated for post-Yolanda rehabilitation and reconstruction in 2013, while P100 billion was included in the 2014 national budget.


5. Website promoting illicit affairs launched in PH, an international extramarital dating website, is raising plenty of eyebrows with its launch in the country. Christoph Kraemer, spokesman for the service, said 2,500 to 3,000 Filipinos have already signed up. The website's tagline, "Life is short. Have an affair," even has a Filipino translation in a bid to attract Filipinos: Buhay ay maikli. Mangaliwa.


Ashley Madison describes itself as "the most successful website for finding an affair and cheating partners" and "the world's leading married dating service for discreet encounters."


6. Globe website hacked due to "poor internet connection service"

The website of Globe Telecommunications was allegedly hacked by a group of hacktivists protesting their "poor Internet connection service." The hacktivists identified themselves as "BloodSec Hackers" and posted a message, saying, "Dear Globe, your service on your Internet connection is not worthy what we pay for [sic]. Do something or expect the consequence. This is just the beginning. Expect Us!"



The hacking was reported on Friday by Philippine technology blog which listed the pages of Globe that were breached.


7. Government launches "Justice Zone" to speed up resolution of cases

The government on Friday launched its "Justice Zone" Project which aims to further speed up the resolution of cases by allowing courts, the police, and lawyers to coordinate more efficiently. A Justice Zone is a locality where most justice reforms initiated by the high court have been implemented. Inside a "Justice Zone," judges, PAO lawyers, and prosecutors in court branches would be able to easily coordinate their schedules, eliminating postponements due to the unavailability of any of them.


To be pilot tested in Quezon City, the project was created by the Justice Sector Coordinating Council, which is composed of the Supreme Court, Department of Justice, and the Department of Interior and Local Government.


8. Shia LaBeouf seeks treatment

Actor Shia LaBeouf is undergoing treatment as part of a plea deal due to an episode during the Broadway show Cabaret. At the June 24 performance, LaBeouf smoked, yelled at the actors, swore at guards, and hollered as he was escorted out.


He is currently at the Hills Treatment Center in Los Angeles.


9. The Gift Guide: 30 Christmas Gift Ideas for Every Budget

Still stumped on what to get your friends this Christmas? We have a couple of pretty cool ideas, and they’re perfect for every budget, too!


10. Best of Manila: 50 Great Restaurants of 2014

Manila’s dining landscape continues to expand to cater to more discerning palates. It’s been a great year for food, and we’ve listed the most noteworthy eateries that opened in 2014.

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