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Groups push probe on Quezon plant& rsquo;s generation charges

Consumer and non-government organizations asked the government to investigate the alleged high generation charges passed on by Quezon Power Philippines Ltd. to Manila Electric Co.’s consumers......»»

Category: financeSource: thestandard thestandardOct 30th, 2020

Militant groups& rsquo; officers slapped with perjury raps

The Quezon City Prosecutor’s Office has filed perjury charges against 10 other officials of organizations with long-standing links to the Communist Party of the Philippines- New People’s Army......»»

Category: newsSource:  thestandardRelated NewsMar 3rd, 2020

Lawmaker, 8 others charged for fund misuse

Nine incumbent and former officials of Quezon province including Rep. David Suarez are facing plunder charges in connection with the alleged misuse of P812.73 million that the provincial government received as shares from the operations of the Pagbilao Power Plant......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsNov 2nd, 2020

Power spot market price spike anomaly?

An unexpected surge of electricity prices brought about by high charges in the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market (WESM), has resulted in increased generation charges. This prompted consumer advocacy group CitizenWatch Philippines—where I am convenor—to ask the Energy Regulatory Commission for an investigation. Specifically, we asked the ERC for a probe on these spot market price spikes during the lockdown months. No “yellow” alerts, or public warnings on thinning power supply, were issued......»»

Category: newsSource:  thestandardRelated NewsOct 26th, 2020

Consumers threaten FDA with graft charges

The Food and Drugs Administration continued to face backlash from stakeholders who threatened to file graft charges before the Ombudsman following the regulatory agency’s alleged admission of receiving funds from foreign vested interest groups......»»

Category: financeSource:  thestandardRelated NewsOct 20th, 2020

Año orders probe of alleged BJMP violations during Nasino’s furlough

Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Eduardo Año said on Monday, Oct. 19, he has ordered an investigation over allegations that the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) committed violations in escorting political prisoner Reina Mae Nasino to the wake and burial of her dead baby River. (JANSEN ROMERO / MANILA BULLETIN) “Pinatitingnan ko rin kung meron silang violations diyan sa behavior nila para we will also apply appropriate sanctions (I have ordered a look into their behavior so we can apply the appropriate sanctions),” he said during an interview over CNN Philippines. “I already instructed the chief BJMP Director Allan Iral to look into the matter and to see if there (were) lapses committed by the BJMP officers,” added Año. On the other hand, Año expressed support to the personal statement made by Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) spokesperson Assistant Secretary Celine Pialago who said that the alleged cruelty committed against Nasino during her visit to the wake and burial should not be sensationalized anymore considering that not all persons deprived of liberty (PDLs) are granted furlough. “Tama yun. Hindi lahat pinapayagan (She’s right. Not all PDLs are granted furlough),” Ano said. “So that’s one big privilege talaga sa PDL, hindi lahat napagbibigyan ng ganyan (Furlough is one big privilege to PDL, not all PDLs are granted that),” he pointed out. The secretary explained that being a PDL “hanggang hindi natatapos ang kaso mo deprived of liberty ka kasama na ang ibang karapatan mo diyan sapagkat nahaharap ka sa kaso (until all you cases are done, you are deprived of liberty as well as you other rights because you are facing charges). He said that Nasino has been ordered detained by a Manila court due to non-bailable charges of illegal possession of explosives and firearms. With this, Año believes that BJMP officers and personnel who escorted Nasino to wake and burial of her baby were just doing their job. “Just the same we regret what happened but I will stand by my people, the BJMP. They are professional people. They don’t have personal or vested interests. They are just doing their job professionally,” he stated. He reminded that the BJMP was only ensuring that the court’s order was being followed, which included not allowing the PDL to escape, that she will not be harmed, and she is safely returned to detention. Año defended the decision of the BJMP to keep Nasino surrounded with security personnel and keep her handcuffed during the wake and burial. “Yan talaga kasi yung standard (That’s the standard),” he stressed. If Nasino had managed to escape because the security detail assigned to her did not follow regulations, Año said these BJMP officers would face sanctions. “It was supposed to be a solemn occasion and you know we also sympathize and condole with the family of Nasino. Pero hindi siya naging solemn kasi dinumog ng tao, dinumog ng media (But it did not become solemn because of the crowds and media),” lamented Año who noted that the BJMP officers were outnumbered by the number of people at the wake and burial. Año observed that the BJMP officers “assigned to escort Nasino were insulted, harassed and verbally abused by these leftist groups aligned with Ms. Nasino.” The secretary explained that BJMP officers were also doing their job in preventing Nasino from being interviewed by the media since this is part of the regulations. “Yung interview hindi siya pwede sa mga PDL (PDL interviews are not allowed). It’s a big, big violation of the regulations,” he stressed......»»

Category: lifestyleSource:  abscbnRelated NewsOct 19th, 2020

Thai protest leaders mark 40th year of student massacre

Thai politicians and protest leaders laid floral wreaths Tuesday at a monument commemorating the anniversary of a student massacre more than 40 years ago, as survivors reflected on the younger generation’s latest democracy push......»»

Category: newsSource:  thestandardRelated NewsOct 6th, 2020

P7.9B La Mesa treatment plant upgrade

Despite the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID -19) pandemic, west zone Maynilad Water Services Inc. on Tuesday said its P7.9-billion upgrade of treatment plants in Quezon City’s La Mesa Dam is already nearing completion......»»

Category: newsSource:  thestandardRelated NewsJul 14th, 2020

Protesters who hit Quezon City cop face raps

Charges of robbery, direct assault and physical injury will be filed against leaders and members of at least nine groups for allegedly hitting and robbing a police officer during a protest at the University of the Philippines in Diliman, the Quezon City Police District announced yesterday......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsJul 13th, 2020

Patriots owner s prostitution case heads to appellate court

By TERRY SPENCER Associated Press FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — Prosecutors charging New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft with twice buying sex from massage parlor prostitutes will attempt to save their case this week by arguing to an appeals court that his rights weren't violated when police secretly video-recorded him in the act. Prosecutors will tell the Florida Fourth District Court of Appeal during an online hearing Tuesday that a county judge erred when he invalidated the January 2019 search warrant allowing police to install secret cameras at Orchids of Asia spa as part of an alleged sex trafficking investigation. The judge said the warrant didn’t sufficiently protect the privacy of innocent customers who received legal massages, and he barred the videos’ use at trial as well as testimony about what they showed. If the ruling stands, it will deal a fatal blow to the prosecution's case. “Mr. Kraft's guilt is a virtual certainty” and he has no right to benefit from any possible mistakes police made involving innocent customers, Deputy Solicitor General Jeffrey DeSousa wrote in court documents. Kraft's attorneys vehemently disagreed, arguing that if the three-justice panel allows the videos' use, “civil liberties cherished in Florida and beyond” will be endangered. “If the state wins this appeal, then everyone loses, not just the accused,” attorney Frank Shepherd wrote. “Government could run roughshod over privacy and constitutional rights while evading scrutiny.” The Jupiter police recordings led to misdemeanor charges against Kraft and two dozen other alleged Orchids of Asia customers. The spa owners and some employees are charged with prostitution-related felonies. Most cases are in limbo while the appeals are heard. If prosecutors can’t use the videos, they would almost certainly dismiss any misdemeanor charges awaiting trial. Some defendants took plea deals but Kraft refused. The felony cases could proceed, as those have other evidence besides the videos. Kraft, a 79-year-old widower and part-time Palm Beach resident, has pleaded not guilty but issued a public apology. He faces a possible one-year jail sentence if convicted, but would likely receive a fine, community service and other sanctions. Kraft, whom Forbes Magazine ranks as the 82nd richest American with a worth of almost $7 billion, is employing several high-priced attorneys to fight the charges. DeSousa submitted several arguments against Palm Beach County Judge Leonard Hanser's ruling. Among them: — The warrant is valid because police minimized any privacy invasion by having only three detectives monitor video. Any further minimization, such as recording only snippets of each massage, would have made the investigation impossible. — Kraft illegally paid for sex and is lawfully covered by the warrant, even if the justices determine police violated innocent customers' privacy rights. — If the warrant is invalid, the detectives relied on it “in good faith” and a sanction banning the video is too extreme. Shepherd submitted several counterarguments for Kraft. They include: — Detectives' privacy protection efforts were insufficient because they recorded seminude men and women receiving legal massages, making the Kraft recordings also illegal. — Police had enough evidence to charge the spa owners with felonies without recording, making the cameras “wholly gratuitous." — The evidence detectives presented to obtain the magistrate's warrant approval was “deliberately misleading,” negating any argument they acted in good faith. The justices won’t immediately rule after the hearing; decisions usually takes weeks. The losing side will likely appeal to the Florida Supreme Court, which could accept the case or let the justices’ ruling stand. Authorities say the Orchids of Asia investigation was part of a multicounty probe into possible sex trafficking by spa owners who they believe brought women from China and elsewhere to work as prostitutes. About 300 people were charged with various felonies and misdemeanors, but no trafficking charges were pursued — prosecutors say they received no cooperation from masseuses whom they suspect were trafficked. According to police, Kraft's chauffeur drove him to Orchids of Asia on the evening of Jan. 19, 2019, where detectives recorded him engaging in a sex act with two women and then paying an undetermined amount in cash. Investigators said Kraft returned the next morning and engaged in recorded sex acts with a woman before paying with a $100 bill and another bill. Hours later, Kraft was in Kansas City for the AFC Championship game, where his Patriots defeated the Chiefs. His team then won the 2019 Super Bowl in Atlanta, the Patriots’ sixth NFL championship under his ownership. Prosecutors offered to drop the charges if Kraft entered a diversion program for first-time offenders. That would include an admission he would be found guilty if the case went to trial, a $5,000 fine, 100 hours of community service and attending a class on the dangers of prostitution and its connection to human trafficking. The hearing is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. EDT Tuesday on the court's YouTube channel......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJun 29th, 2020

Probe & lsquo;fertilizer scam& rsquo;& mdash;CL farmers

A network of farmers’ groups in Central Luzon has asked the Office of the Ombudsman to investigate the allegedly overpriced P1.8 billion fertilizer supply contracts approved by the Department of Agriculture last month under an emergency stimulus program amid the COVID-19 pandemic......»»

Category: newsSource:  thestandardRelated NewsJun 16th, 2020

DENR asked to probe billionaire& rsquo;s Palawan structures

A Puerto Princesa City-based non-government organization asked the Department of Environment and Natural Resources to investigate the alleged use and occupation of untitled lands in areas under the  Malampaya Sound Protected Landscape and Seascape by certain individuals and groups, including billionaire Beatriz Zobel de Ayala......»»

Category: financeSource:  thestandardRelated NewsJun 14th, 2020

Colonial spectators in bushes and temporary tents off course

By STEPHEN HAWKINS AP Sports Writer FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — Max Butcher and his buddies felt as if they had front-row seats at Colonial, even in the bushes with no spectators allowed on the course. The group of five recent graduates from nearby TCU stood in a small gap between a row of shrubbery and a chain-link fence Saturday. They had a view of the fourth and fifth holes during the third round of the PGA Tour's first tournament in three months. “This is as good as it gets right now, and I can’t complain,” said Butcher, who has been in that spot multiple days this week. They had to push through gaps in the bushes to get to there but Jack Kurz, who stood next to Butcher, said the close-up view made it “almost better than getting a ticket." There were no tickets for anyone, not even for Colonial members. The PGA Tour isn't allowing spectators the first month back after the long hiatus because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Some of those members did have obstructed views from one of three temporary viewing areas set up in the yards of homes on the edge of the course. One was along the main road that leads to the clubhouse, and two others were near the 15th and 16th holes. One member watching Saturday from a raised tent across Colonial Parkway with partial views of parts of the second, third and fourth holes, called it “bittersweet.” The member, who didn’t want to give his name, wasn’t happy to be on the outside looking in, but was glad the tournament was being played three weeks after it was originally scheduled. He said others with him felt the same way. Held since 1946, Colonial is the longest-running PGA Tour event at the same venue. Cheers from a temporary grandstand erected in a backyard near the 16th tee box could be heard at the far end of the golf course. Nearby in another yard was another raised tent dubbed “Mockingbird Deck” — after the street name. When Corey Conners hit an approach to about 5 feet at No. 15 in the second round, he got quite a reaction from those outside spectators who could see it. “Yeah, it was pretty cool,” Conners said. “I know we’re used to getting applause and whatnot, and cheers when we hit good shots. So yeah, that felt nice. It was definitely different because that’s not happening really anywhere else on the golf course. So it put a smile on my face for sure." Jordan Spieth noticed people peeking through the fence by the No. 1 green and behind the second tee, where some rode up on their bikes. The Dallas native who attended the Colonial at times growing up was asked if he would ever try to sneak on a course. “I wouldn’t try and sneak on. I don’t think that’s going to go well for you,” Spieth said. “But certainly try and get a view." One man did get through the fence in a corner near those bushes beyond the fourth green Friday and watched some golf before he was forced to leave. Everyone stayed outside the fence there Saturday, with Butcher and his buddies among about a dozen spectators watching the holes that are part of Colonial's “Horrible Horseshoe” — including that long par-3 fourth hole and the difficult No. 5 hole that runs parallel to the Trinity River. The TCU grads were directly behind the fifth tee box, only a few feet from the players. “They definitely give us a reaction, they definitely are willing to talk to us and they like having us here even though you can’t have fans on the course right now," said Butcher, who had a ball tossed to him Friday from Sebatian Munoz, the No. 9 player in the world. Chris Zelda, standing in the shade not far from that group, has lived in Fort Worth for 33 years and has been going to the Colonial that whole time. He missed only one day in his unusual viewing spot this week, and planned to be there again Sunday to watch all the groups go by before going home to watch the rest on television. “Under the circumstances, I’m not disappointed at all. I think the way that this whole thing has been handled has been great,” he said. “I’m just glad these guys came, and I think they were ready to come and I think there’s people who were ready to come out and see it.” Including the guy who brought his six-foot ladder to get a view during the first round. “I saw him get his ladder out, I thought he was going to go do some work on the condos down there or something,” Zelda said......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJun 14th, 2020

Army joins probe of soldier& rsquo;s slay

Army authorities have ordered an investigation of the shooting death of a retired military personnel by a Quezon City police, which the PNP leadership immediately defended but condemned by other sectors......»»

Category: newsSource:  thestandardRelated NewsApr 24th, 2020

From Cellar-Dweller to Contender: Basilan s phenomenal rise in the MPBL

Coming off a rough 2018-19 MPBL Datu Cup campaign, Basilan Steel-Jumbo Plastic has no way to go but up, with the help of Phenom Sports, its new management team. Phenom, led by Jax Chua, took over Basilan late last season when the Steel have already spiraled down to the bottom of the MPBL and finished the tournament tied with Rizal for the last spot of the Southern division behind a dismal 7-18 win-loss record. From there, Phenom rebuilt the team, starting with the coaching staff that has what it takes to maneuver a losing team to a victorious one. “Coming in, ‘yung outlook naming sa team, we want to bring a winning culture ditto sa Basilan. We took the challenge kahit alam naming cellar-dweller noong Datu Cup,” said Chua, who also serves as the general manager of the Steel. Coach Jerson Cabiltes took the helm for Basilan, alongside deputies Noy Catalan, Florian Pineda, Arnold Oliveros, Jinino Manansala, Joseph Guion, Migs Montero, and Dands Javier. Then came the task to build a team that exhibits the same qualities of the Basileños: determined, full of perseverance, hardworking, and has something to prove. Phenom, who also ventured into player management aside from sportswear-making, then made the moves to improve Basilan’s lineup by taking players who are no big names but can contribute in a variety of ways. “To have a winning team, not necessary naman to get big name players. Ang hinanap namin ay mga hardworking players who will buy into the system at magsa-sacrifice talaga,” Chua said. The management retained veteran Dennis Daa for his leadership while activating Cris Dumapis, who has emerged as a reliable force in the paint. They then acquired the services of shifty playmaker Hesed Gabo and sharpshooting big man Jay Collado from Quezon City, marksman Jhapz Bautista from Makati, high-leaping Bobby Balucanag and Shaq Alanas from Pasay, sparkplug Gab Dagangon from Bataan, and Michole Sorela from Navotas. They also signed PBA veterans Jonathan Uyloan and Anthony Bringas alongside Irven Palencia, an integral cog for St. Clare in NAASCU, who is also managed by Phenom. Philip Manalang, Mark Trinidad, Ar Raouf Jilkipli, Junjie Hallare, Darwin Lunor, Jett Vidal, Melgar Murillo, Harold Ng, and Reiner Bazan completed the lineup of Basilan. The Turnaround When the Chooks-to-Go MPBL Lakan Cup opened, the retooled Basilan started on the right foot with two straight wins against Bicol and Pampanga. But when the adrenaline ran out, the Jumbo Plastic-backed squad saw its win-loss standing at 9-8 midway through the season. Then Basilan scorched the league in its remaining 13 games, tallying 11 victories while only losing two matches. The main reason for the brilliant playoff push? The arrival of Phenom-managed collegiate talents in Allyn Bulanadi, NCAA Season 95 leading scorer and San Sebastian College-Recoletos superstar, and Philip Manalang, lead floor general of University of the East. Bulanadi, a 6-foot-3 up-and-coming star, played in the Steel’s last seven games in the elimination round on an impressive 21.71 points on 46 percent clip and 4.5 rebounds averages. Meanwhile, Manalang is a sparkplug off the bench who brings the tenacity on the defense all while contributing on the other end in various ways. Basilan entered the playoffs with a 20-10 record, good for the third spot in the tough Southern division just behind top seed Davao Occidental and second-ranked Bacoor. “Our main goal was to for a competitive team and we want to redefine Basilan through basketball. In this way, I think we have garnered so many fans and inspired yung buong Basilan province that’s why I think we have already succeeded in redefining Basilan,” Chua said. But the grind did not stop for the Steel as they marched into the postseason with the whole Basilan province rallying behind their backs. In the quarterfinals, Basilan swept Iloilo advancing into the semifinals, with a daunting task of beating second seed powerhouse Bacoor City. The Steel survived a grueling three-game series against the Strikers, coming up on top despite having home-court disadvantage for Games Two and Three. In the division finals, Basilan faced the toughest team in the South, the Davao Occidental Tigers. But Basilan showed, again and again, its heart, escaping Game One with a 74-72 victory at the Davao Sports and Tourism Complex in Tagum City. And with a shot to glory and barging into the National Finals, Basilan looked to become South kings in front of their huge following at Lamitan City Gym in Game Two, but the Tigers have other plans, spoiling Basilan’s home court and surviving with an 81-76 win. Game Three was supposed to happen last March 14, but MPBL decided to suspend the Division Finals due to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. “Nandito na rin kami eh, we are not here to participate lang. Given the chance and we will gladly take it. We will go all out to bring more pride to the Basileños and to repay the trust na binigay sa amin ng leaders ng Basilan especially Congressman Mujiv Hataman, Mayor Julz Hataman Governor Jim Hataman Salliman and Councilor Hegem Furigay,” added Chua. Will Basilan Steel continue their astounding playoff run to the National Finals or will Davao Occidental retain its crown in the South? No matter what, Basilan has already won the hearts of the Basileños and the whole MPBL fanbase with its tremendous turnaround from a lowly team in Datu Cup to a powerhouse in the Chooks-to-Go MPBL Lakan Season. More than Basketball But “Redefining Basilan” is more than basketball. Phenom Sports not only wanted to turn around people’s perception of Basilan the basketball team but give Basilan the province the appreciation it deserves. Basilan has been a hotbed of misconceptions due to the armed conflicts that happened there, but those were the days and the province has moved on. “Right from the start na nakapunta ako sa Basilan, sobrang iba nito kasi akala natin magulo ang Basilan, ang mga tao iba ang ugali pero hindi. Basilan has been enjoying a long peace na. For more than 15 years now under the leadership ng mga Hataman, naging maayos, naging focused sila sa peace and progress,” Chua on Basilan province. And basketball has played a huge part in giving the young Basileños a dream to hold on. “Yung mga kabataan, nabibigyan ng chance na mangarap na maging katulad ng idols nila,” said Chua. “They want to be the next Allyn Bulanadi, the next Hesed Gabo, the next Irven Palencia. This is what basketball is giving to the Basilan people.” The Steel has built a cult following in Basilan and it is the best feeling a player could feel. “Paglapag pa lang ng pier, everybody knows the players. They follow them like rockstars, like celebrities. They send food to the hotels, they watch our practices. Ganoon kamahal ng Basilan yung mga players nila. They saw a hardworking team who really represents Basilan’s culture - the determination, the perseverance and the hard work of the Basileños,” Chua concluded. But how did Basilan Steel get popular in the province? Meet the team behind Phenom Sports. Phenom is all-in in redefining Basilan and that’s why they have a team to do so. They have photographers in Marl Castro, Thel Suliva, and Michael Ordoñez who captured in-game pictures and the team’s interaction with the fans. Rion Balin and Jeff Palaganas are the videographers who make the video highlights of the Basilan players for the fans. Juls Claudio and Dands Javier are graphic artists who create the posters and other publication materials to be posted on the team’s social media accounts. The latter also serves as the marketing man of Phenom. Emma Bueno and Joseph Guion complete the team as coordinator and director, respectively. In a span of just a year, Phenom Sports has reached its goal of redefining Basilan, turning it to #BasilanRedefined......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMar 19th, 2020

Meralco& rsquo;s Mauban power plant starts to pitch in income

San Buenaventura Power Ltd. Co., the first majority-owned, commercially operating power plant of Manila Electric Co. since the company decided to return to the generation business, may contribute around P1 billion to P1.2 billion to the retailer’s bottom line this year......»»

Category: financeSource:  thestandardRelated NewsMar 1st, 2020

PBA Finals: We got our game going tonight -- Cone

Barangay Ginebra came out of the locker room after the halftime break on a tear as the Gin Kings caught Meralco flat-footed to take a 2-1 series lead in the 2019 PBA Governors’ Cup Finals on Sunday at the Big Dome. The Gin Kings pounced on the Bolts, who lost big man Raymond Almazan to a knee injury early in the opening period, with a third quarter eruption to carve out a 92-84 victory to get back on the winning track. “For the most part, we were able to get our game going tonight,” said Gin Kings coach Tim Cone, relieved that his squad was quick to bounce back from a sorry loss in Game 2 in Lucena City in Quezon last Friday. Taking advantage of Meralco missing a vital cog in the paint, the Gin Kings blasted 35 points in the third quarter while limiting the Bolts to only 16 for a 78-58 cushion heading into the payoff period. The Gin Kings held a 43-42 lead after the first two quarters. Ginebra was lights out on offense in that period as it hit 14 of its 23 attempts in the field including four triples. The Gin Kings forced Meralco to commit eight turnovers that they converted to 14 points while taking care of their possession as Ginebra cruised in the third without an error. “That's the way we play. We got some stops and got on the open court,” Cone said.  Stanley Pringle anchored the Gin Kings explosion in the third with 17 points off 7-of-9 shooting clip from the field including three treys. He closed his night with 21 points behind Justin Brownlee’s 24 and Japeth Aguilar’s 23 markers. “Stanley had a bunch of spectacular plays that really revved up the crowd,” Cone said. “And I thought just defensively, we did a much better job tonight in terms of controlling some of the guys we wanted to control.”  Ginebra’s third quarter spurt was enough insurance to stave off Meralco’s desparate push late in the fourth canto as LA Tenorio and Japeth Aguilar put the finishing touches to preserve the victory.         --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 12th, 2020

CHR to probe solon& rsquo;s killing

The Commission on Human Rights will initiate a probe on the killing of a former Batangas lawmaker and two others whose charred remains were found inside a car in Quezon province Thursday......»»

Category: newsSource:  thestandardRelated NewsJan 11th, 2020

20 for 20: Pinoy Sports Personalities to Watch in 2020

As we enter a new decade, ABS-CBN Sports takes a look at 20 Pinoy sports personalities destined to shine in 2020.    Kiefer Ravena After an 18-month wait, Kiefer Ravena is finally back in basketball. Despite only playing in the PBA’s third conference, his impact was immediate, leading NLEX to the number 1 seed in the Governors’ Cup. The Road Warriors didn’t advance sure, but if Kiefer can impact a team that way in limited time, wait until you see what he can do with a full offseason.   Alex Eala At just 14 years old, Filipina tennister Alex Eala is already turning heads, and she’s yet to turn pro. With a runner-up finish at the ITF Mayor’s Cup in Osaka, Japan and her first ITF Juniors title in Cape Town, South Africa, Alex has had quite the fruitful year, leading to a career-best 11th-place ranking in the ITF Juniors table to finish the year.  Heading into 2020, Eala now has her sights set on turning pro as she plans to join more professional tournaments to raise her ranking even more. Expect the young tennis star to make even more headlines in the coming year.     Bryan Bagunas A vital cog in the national team’s silver medal finish in the 30th Southeast Asian Games, Bagunas is considered as one of the best Filipino volleyball players in this generation. Eyes will be on his blossoming international career playing as an import in the Japan V. Premier League.         Margielyn Didal While already a household name in Philippine skateboarding due to her success in the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta, Margielyn Didal made even more waves in 2019. The 20-year old Cebuana reached the semifinals of the 2019 SLS World Championships in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and captured gold in the 2019 National Championships and the 2019 Southeast Asian Games.  Didal is currently looking to qualify for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, and if she can do so, it’s highly likely that the Pinay skater can become an even bigger star in the industry.    Marck Espejo After his spectacular collegiate career with the Ateneo Blue Eagles, Marck Espejo's colorful career as part of the men's national volleyball team and in the club league continues to blossom. Just like Bryan Bagunas, Espejo will be showing his skills internationally with a stint in Thailand following a historic silver medal finish at the 30th SEA Games.   Yuka Saso After a decorated amateur career that saw her  participate in major tournaments such as the Ladies’ European Tour, the Summer Youth Olympics and claim top honors in the 2018 Asian Games, 2018 and 2019 Philippine Ladies Open, and the 2019 Girls’ Junior PGA Championship, 18-year old Pinay golfer Yuka Saso finally made the jump to pro in November of 2019.  With even more competitions in store plus a 2020 Tokyo Olympics berth in her crosshairs, it’s quite likely that we hear more about Saso in the coming months.  Carlos Yulo Perhaps no other young athlete in the Philippines shot to stardom faster than gymnastics phenomenon Carlos Edriel Yulo. After a gold medal finish in the floor exercise at the 2019 World Championships in Stuttgart, Yulo hauled in even more hardware in the 2019 Southeast Asian Games, taking home two more gold medals and five silvers.  Yulo’s spectacular 2019 earned him a spot in the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, and if his SEA Games and World Championships performances are any indication, Caloy is bound for another podium finish on the biggest stage there is.   Eya Laure Last UAAP season’s rookie of the year will return as the heir apparent of Season 81 MVP Sisi Rondina. With her national team stint, all eyes will be on the younger Laure as she reunites with older sister EJ as they try to bring University of Sto. Tomas back in the Finals after falling short last year. Hidilyn Diaz 2019 was another big year for Olympic silver medalist weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz, highlighted by her first ever gold medal in the 2019 Southeast Asian Games. Diaz also finished with silver medals in the 2019 Asian Championships and a bronze in the 2019 World Championships.  All those podium finishes are crucial in Diaz’s quest for another Olympics berth in 2020. Should the 28-year lock up another spot in the Summer Games in Tokyo, we could see another Olympic medal coming home.    Kat Tolentino  After initially announcing that she would not come back for her final season in the UAAP, Kat Tolentino changed her decision and will suit up for the Ateneo Lady Eagles once last time, providing a great morale-booster in their bid for back-to-back titles. Tolentino’s leadership will be tested as she will be leading a young team.      Joshua Pacio 23-year old Joshua “The Passion” Pacio proved to be the brightest spot for Philippine MMA stable Team Lakay in 2019. After opening the year with a questionnable decision loss to Yosuke Saruta, Pacio silenced any doubts in the rematch and regained the ONE Strawweight World Championship with a highlight-reel headkick knockout. Pacio would follow that up with another masterful performance, this time with a second-round submission win over top contender Rene Catalan before the end of the year.  2020 is shaping up to become another banner year for the rising Pinoy star, as he’s scheduled for another title defense on January 31st in Manila, this time against former champ Alex Silva of Brazil. A win for Pacio will solidify his claim of being the best strawweight ever in ONE Championship history.     Louie Romero The Adamson University freshman displayed great potential during the pre-season when she piloted the Lady Falcons to title win in the PVL Season 3 Collegiate Conference. Romero is expected to be a gem of a setter for the young Adamson squad hoping make a return in the UAAP Final Four. Manny Pacquiao While eight-division world champion Manny Pacquiao is certainly in the twilight of his professional boxing career, 2019 showed that he is still one of the best around. A successful title defense over Adrien Broner followed by an impressive dismantling of the previously-undefeated Keith Thurman to capture the WBA’s primary world title proved that even at 40, Manny Pacquiao is still a big name in the sport.  With Pacquiao targeting an early return in 2020, more big names are lined up to fight “the People’s Champ”, including names like Danny Garcia, Shawn Porter, and even a title-unification bout against Errol Spence. Still, the biggest fight that is out there proves to be a rematch against Floyd Mayweather Jr, granted that “Money” finally bites.    Faith Nisperos A key addition for the repeat-seeking Ateneo de Manila University. The highly-touted rookie hitter will add height and firepower for the Lady Eagles in UAAP Season 82 women’s volleyball. In the previous PVL Collegiate Conference, Nisperos flashed her scoring prowess, exploding for 35 points in one outing.   Robert Bolick The two best rookies of 2019 were CJ Perez and Robert Bolick. We know what we can expect from CJ, but Bolick is an interesting case as 2020 will be his return from knee injury. Bolick could still win Rookie of the Year, but even if he doesn’t, his return to Northport could push the reloaded Batang Pier from a Cinderella team to full-on PBA title contender.   Joshua Retamar His playmaking skills as well as his efficiency on net defense during the national team’s silver medal finish in the 30th Southeast Asian Games makes him a setter to watch out for come UAAP. Retamar is an asset for National University’s three-peat bid.       Kai Sotto The Philippines' 7-foot-2, 17-year-old is opening eyes as he suits up for Atlanta-based The Skills Factory - so much so that he has already gotten interest from quite a few US NCAA schools. Before Sotto continues breaking the glass ceiling for Filipinos, though, he will go home for a while to wear the flag with Mighty Sports-Pilipinas in the 2020 Dubai International Basketball Tournament.   Jema Galanza Coming off a great outing to close the PVL Season 3 highlighted by copping the Open Conference MVP award, expectations are high for Jema Galanza as Creamline aims to reclaim the PVL Reinforced Conference crown and complete an Open Conference three-peat.      Kobe Paras Many questioned just what the 6-foot-6 tantalizing talent would bring to the table for UP - but more often than not, he had all the answers as he led the Fighting Maroons to their second straight Final Four. In the end, Paras was actually the steadying force State U needed in what was a hyped up season. They may not have made it back to the Finals, but they still got much more motivation as they run it back for next year.   Pat Aquino What's next for the most decorated mentor in women's basketball? Pat Aquino followed up a six-peat for National U with the Philippines' first-ever gold medal in women's basketball in the SEA Games. Without a doubt, he will only continue steering the sport forward especially as the likes of UST and FEU are already gearing up to put up greater challenges in the new year.   Isaac Go Isaac Go is technically not the no. 1 pick of the 2019 PBA Draft but he is without a doubt, the no. 1 prospect of the year. His top selection from the special Gilas Pilipinas Draft is proof of that. Gilas Pilipinas has the FIBA Asia Cup Qualifiers on deck in 2020 and as a new era dawns on the national team, all eyes will be on the biggest piece for the future that’s already drafted into the new Philippine squad......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 1st, 2020

Green groups, Quezon locals file petition vs Atimonan coal plant ECC

“A1E has been cutting or earth-balling coconut trees in the project site without a valid permit to cut as required,” the complaint sent to Philstar.com Wednesday read......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsNov 27th, 2019

Volleyball stars, community unite for coach Roger Gorayeb

Multi-titled coach Roger Gorayeb received a lot of love from the Philippine volleyball community in a benefit concert Sunday at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan. Local volleyball stars led by his former players from the NCAA, UAAP, his club teams and the national squad gathered for a night of music and appreciation for the mentor, who is battling multiple myeloma. Gorayeb has been confined at St. Luke’s Medical Center in Quezon City for almost a month. Volleyball players led by Alyssa Valdez, Kalei Mau and Sisi Rondina performed on stage for the fans and gracious donors who attended the event. “Thank you sa opportunity na ito. Nais naming magpasalamat sa lahat ng mga taong nadoon since Day 1, kasi alam naman natin na medyo matagal na itong kay Papa,” said Gorayeb’s eldest daughter Camille, who was with her sister Cheska and brother Kyle during the benefit event. “Kaming tatlong magkakapatid plus si Mama [Lucy] napakalaking bagay na nakita lahat ito, na hindi kami nag-iisa.” Thank you po sa mabubusilak ang puso. ????♥? #AllForCoachRoger pic.twitter.com/zA6kQ1rPal — Grethcel Soltones (@ladybeast05) November 2, 2019 Camille, 31, said that they’re grateful for the overwhelming love and support they’re getting for their father, who is currently the coach of PLDT Home Fibr in the Philippine Superliga. Gorayeb last called the shots for PLDT almost a month ago. The 58-year old coach steered San Sebastian College to 23 women’s indoor titles, 11 in juniors, six in men’s and six beach volleyball women’s crowns in NCAA. He molded Ateneo’s volleyball program to what it is right now during his five-year stay from 2008-2013 and was known to be the mentor who sparked the Ateneo-De La Salle University rivalry.   Gorayeb also won numerous titles in his club teams with his last in the Premier Volleyball League two years ago for BaliPure. He was the national team coach of the U-23 women's team and the 2015 Singapore Southeast Asian Games women's squad.  “Sobra pong overwhelming for us kasi alam nyo po si Papa pag-uwi sa bahay walang volleyball talk, bawal, Wala kaming kilala, mostly ang kilala lang namin yung mga nakikita namin sa TV na players. Ayaw niya [pag-usapan ang volleyball] sa bahay ang gusto niya pahinga,” said Camille. “So itong nangyari na ito ang dami naming na-meet na tao. Kumbaga nagkukwento sila kung paano sila natulungan ni Papa, nakakataba ng puso.” “Sobrang overwhelming ito sa amin, lalo na sa aming tatlong magkakapatid,” she added. Charo Soriano and Dzi Gervacio spearheaded the organization of the event. “It was really a lot of groups of people who wanted to help and instead of doing different types of things we wanted a unified, collective effort for Coach Roger. Truly he’s been really a second father for us and we wanted to give back sa kanya,” she said. The players themselves, said Gervacio, were game to perform and sing for fans and the guests. “Hindi lang donation in terms of money but also their time and effort, their talent,” said Gervacio, who was part of the Ateneo Fab 5 assembled by Gorayeb. “Hindi lang volleyball talent but their other talents as well.” Other athletes who performed on stage were Panpan Pantino, Beauty Denila, Nicole Tiamzon, Dimdim Pacres, Kara Acevedo, Jema Galanza, Deanna Wong, Gretchen Ho and Kiefer Ravena. Artists who graced the event were Ebe Dancel, Quest, Wicked Adobo, Lunar Lights and Anyo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 3rd, 2019