VP Binay, Poe, Roxas top SWS list of 2016 presidential contenders + more things you might have missed today

Lacson resigns as rehab czar, MMDA is suspending number coding for the holidays, and more.

Photo via Inquirer.net


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


1. VP Binay, Poe, Roxas top SWS list of 2016 presidential contenders

A new presidential poll from the Social Weather Station (SWS) revealed that Vice President Jejomar Binay, Senator Grace Poe, and Interior Secretary Mar Roxas are the three "most likely to succeed" President Benigno Aquino III once his term ends in 2016. The poll, which was taken from November 27 to December 1, posed the question, "Who do you think are the good leaders who should succeed Pres. [Benigno III] Aquino as president? You may give up to three names."


37 percent believed Binay should succeed Aquino in 2016, while 21 percent named Poe, and 19 percent named Roxas.


2. MRT, LRT fare hikes reasonable and timely, says Palace

In an interview Sunday, Palace Communications Secretary Sonny Coloma Jr. said the "reasonable" increase in the LRT and MRT's fares would allow the government to funnel more funds to social services benefitting more Filipinos. "Ang sabi ng Pangulo, rasonable lamang na ayusin natin 'yung sistema ng pamasahe at ilapit ito sa pamasahe sa mga airconditioned buses," he said.



On Saturday, Transportation Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya announced that the base fare for the MRT-3, and LRT Lines 1 and 2 will increase by P1 starting on January 4 next year, with P1 charged per additional kilometer.


3. Grace Poe wants MRT fare hike postponed

Senator Grace Poe has asked the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) to postpone the Metro Rail Transit fare increase, scheduled on January 4. In a statement, Poe said, "The sorry state of the MRT brought about to a large extent by government mismanagement and ineptness cannot justify an increase. The government is obligated to maintain the subsidy until the system's services and safety are upgraded."

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She added, "The MRT is an essential government service and the fare increase is an added insult and an injustice to the suffering riding public whose very lives are put on the line every day."


4. MMDA suspends number coding for holiday season


The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) has announced the suspension of the number coding scheme for two weeks, beginning December 23 until January 4, 2015. MMDA Chairman Francis Tolentino, however, reminded motorists of possible heavy traffic on Tuesday due to travelers heading to the provinces.


5. Arroyo given four-day Christmas furlough

The Sandiganbayan First Division has granted former President and now Pampanga Representative Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo a four-day Christmas furlough from hospital detention, scheduled from December 23 to 26. The Christmas break was given in "the spirit of mercy and compassion" during the holiday season and in light of Pope Francis’ upcoming visit.


According to Arroyo’s lawyer Modesto Ticman, this is the first time the court unanimously granted Arroyo's holiday furlough since 2011.


6. Lacson resigns as rehabilitation czar

Presidential Assistant for Rehabilitation and Recovery (PARR) Panfilo Lacson has submitted his "irrevocable" resignation, saying he has "done everything" as rehabilitation czar in connection with Typhoon Yolanda. Lacson said that PARR's mandate only covers the rehabilitation of Yolanda-devastated areas, and is technically a "transition body." He explained, "We have to give back to NDRRMC [the task], where the rehabilitation and recovery rightfully belongs."



His resignation will take effect by February 2015.


7. Elton John weds partner of 21 years

British superstar Elton John tied the knot with his long-time partner David Furnish on Sunday, the ninth anniversary of their civil partnership. The couple were wed in their estate in Windsor as some very famous guests looked on (including Hugh Grant, Ed Sheeran, Elizabeth Hurley, and David Beckham and his family).


8. WATCH: Benedict Cumberbatch nail 11 celebrity impersonations in a minute

Benedict Cumberbatch’s new film entitled The Imitation Game may be more about Alan Turing than actual imitations, but it turns out the British actor is pretty good at impersonations, too. In an interview with MTV, Cumberbatch impersonates his fellow celebrities, including Sean Connery, Kevin Spacey, Taylor Swift, Matthew McConaughey, and more.


9. Sneak Peek: Estancia Mall at Capitol Commons, Pasig

Like a gift that keeps on giving, Capitol Commons is giving us more reason to head to bustling Pasig City. We decided to give Estancia Mall, the newest shopping and dining hub in the metro, a look to see what’s worth a visit or two.



10. 10 Christmas Meals, Deals, and Events in Manila

Spending the holiday in the city? Sure, it’s tempting to stay cooped up at home to avoid the crowd, but we promise the metro has plenty to offer this Christmas season. From quick mall trips to hotel deals and city getaways, get into the holiday spirit with these activities.

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