Liquor ban imposed in Manila City for Pope Francis’ visit + more things you might have missed today

Lower airfares, a new trailer for Marvel’s "Ant-Man," and more.


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


1. Liquor ban imposed in Manila City for Pope Francis’ visit

Parts of Manila City will be liquor-free during the highly anticipated visit of Pope Francis from January 15 to 19. Mayor Joseph Estrada has signed Executive No. Order 2, which restricts the purchase of intoxicating beverages during the papal visit, to "maintain peace and order." Throughout the papal visit, "no person shall sell, offer, serve, buy or take beer, wine or intoxicating liquors on any street, sidewalk, plaza or any other place within 200 meters" of the Apostolic Nunciature and wherever the papal motorcade will pass.


Estrada also set a one-kilometer radius liquor-free zone from Manila Cathedral on January 16, where Pope Francis will hold Mass. This liquor-free zone will also be in place at the University of Santo Tomas, Quirino Grandstand, and Rizal Park on January 18, where the Pontiff is expected to make an appearance.


2. MRT and LRT upgrade to proceed even if SC stops fare hike

Malacañang on Tuesday clarified that the planned upgrades of the Metro Rail Transit (MRT) and Light Rail Transit (LRT) systems would push through even if the Supreme Court issued a temporary restraining order on the fare hike. According to Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr., the government had already set aside funds for the rehabilitation of the MRT and LRT, which includes 48 new coaches set to arrive by September, thus "increasing the number of trips and shortening waiting time at the MRT 3."



3. Senate to probe lifestyles of the rich and convicted inside Bilibid

Senator Antonio Trillanes IV has sought a probe on the alleged special treatment of high-profile inmates and their illegal activities inside the New Bilibid Prison (NBP). In Senate Resolution 1088 filed on January 5, 2015, Trillanes said the first step to reform the correctional system is to "identify and hold accountable" the responsible NBP personnel and other involved officials.


4. Pope visit is PH’s "biggest security nightmare," says AFP

Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Chief of Staff General Gregorio Catapang Jr. has dubbed the visit of Pope Francis "the biggest security nightmare," as they finalize plans to make sure that the Pontiff will be safe while in the country. Catapang said the AFP has been conducting "war games" to test all possible scenarios that could play out during the papal visit from January 15 to 19. This includes aerial security, securing ground routes, and securing the buildings along the papal routes.

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5. Expect lower airfares by the end of the week

Here’s some good news for avid and wannabe travelers. Airline passengers can expect lower airfares by the end of the week. The Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) issued Resolution No. 79 (BM 10-12-22-2014), lifting the authority of domestic and foreign airlines to impose fuel surcharge on their flights. The surcharge, which is based on flight distance, ranges from P200 to P500 for domestic flights and can amount to as much as P15,000 for international destinations.



6. COMELEC chief is open to backing Grace Poe for 2016 elections

Retiring Commission on Elections (COMELEC) Chairman Sixto Brillantes Jr. said on Wednesday that he is open to being a consultant to a presidential candidate in 2016. He is hoping to back Senator Grace Poe, should she decide to run for the highest office. Brillantes was Fernando Poe Jr.’s election lawyer in the 2004 elections.


Brillantes said he will be allowed to practice election law again by February 2016. He will be retiring as COMELEC chief on February 2.


7. Senator Nancy Binay says she won’t stop new Senate investigations against her father

Senator Nancy Binay on Tuesday said she will not stop the Senate from investigating her father, Vice President Jejomar Binay, amid new allegations that he is involved in corruption as chair of the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC). "Kung kaligayahan [ni Trillanes] ’yon, pagbigyan. ’Yon na ang Christmas gift ko sa kanya," she said.


Senator Antonio Trillanes IV earlier stated that the Vice President received half of the profits from housing projects by extending Pag-IBIG loans to certain favored contractors.


8. Watch: The new trailer for Marvel’s Ant-Man

After a string of teaser trailers, Marvel Studios has finally released the first full-length trailer of Ant-Man, which stars unlikely superhero Paul Rudd as the titular shrinking character. The film is slated for release on July 2015.


9. 10 Quick TV Show Recaps to Help You Catch Up Before the New Episodes Start


It’s a New Year, which also means your favorite TV shows are finally back! We’re sure you’re eager to sink your teeth into a new episode but before you do, refresh your memory with our quick recaps. After all, that was a pretty long hiatus.


10. 10 Things We Love From the Kate Spade, Jonathan Adler, and Stationery Collections

Put some eye-popping color into your stationery with collections from Kate Spade. While you’re at it, keep turning heads with quirky accessories from and colorful lifestyle items from Jonathan Adler.

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