A brief message from PABA regarding the recent events in Charlottesville, Virginia

The Philippine American Bar Association (“PABA”) issued the following statement regarding the recent events in Charlottesville, Virginia:
PABA is deeply saddened and horrified by the events that took place in Charlottesville this past weekend. On Friday night, groups of white supremacists and neo-Nazis stormed the University of Virginia with torches, and on Saturday they took to the streets of Charlottesville, spewing hate and violence. By the end of the weekend, one woman was killed, two law enforcement officials died, and many others were injured. The actions taken by these white supremacists and neo-Nazis are shameful and abhorrent, and have no place in a civilized society.
The events in Charlottesville are a grim reminder of the history of exclusion and violence experienced in this country by Asian Americans generally, including Filipino Americans, as a result of anti-immigrant, racist, and xenophobic sentiments, such as the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, anti-miscegenation laws, the Japanese internment, and the deadly anti-Filipino riots in Watsonville, California. Such acts of racism and intolerance should have been condemned then, and we stridently condemn the recent acts in Charlottesville now.
An act of terror targeting any minority group is an act of terror against us all. PABA stands in solidarity with all those whose security and well-being in this country are threatened by these hateful groups. There can be no center ground, and equivocation on these issues is an endorsement of hatred and bigotry. As a result, PABA calls upon President Trump to definitively and unequivocally condemn these hate groups.

Star’s Marc Pingris not rushing return to peak form

PBA Media Bureau
After being sidelined with a hip injury for almost six months, Marc Pingris finally returned to action for the Star Hotshots in their 100-81 win over the Phoenix Fuel Masters in the Oppo PBA Governors’ Cup on Wednesday night.

Pingris only played for more than two minutes during garbage time of the lopsided game. Despite the short playing time, he’s happy that he was finally able to hit the court.

“Natutuwa ako sa mga fans na kahit two minutes lang nilaro ko pinapalakpakan ako. Sobrang miss na miss nila ako. Miss na miss ko rin yung liga natin. I’m happy kahit pakonti-konti lang. Nakakabalik naman kahit paano,” Pingris said.

The many-time all-defensive team member who won seven championships with the franchise said he doesn’t want to fast-track his comeback as he tries to regain his peak form.

“Nangangapa. Kanina sobrang excited ako. I think magsi-six months na yata or five months. I’m very excited. Sobrang na-appreciate ko yung ginawa ni (physical therapist) Nic Ocampo sa akin,” said Pingris who last played in February during Game Seven of their Philippine Cup semifinals series against Barangay Ginebra.

“Wala akong ginagawa. Tapos nung nawala yung maga parang lumiit yung muscle niya. Ngayon talagang workout.”

Another reason for Pingris not to rush things is that the Hotshots are doing well even without him. Star remains as the the only unbeaten team in the current tournament after winning its first four games.

“Konti-konti lang. Sinabi ko rin kay Coach (Chito Victolero) yan. Alam ni Coach yun. Dating player yun eh. Alam niya pakiramdam kapag na-injure ka. Talagang pagpasok mo kailangan dahan-dahan lang,” added Pingris.

“Maganda rin itinatakbo ng team ngayon. Maganda chemistry ng team. Sa practice talagang inuunti-unti ako ni Coach. Sa depensa iniintindi ko pa rin kahit alam ko na.”

Pingris, who went to the United States for treatment, said his rehab is still ongoing.

“Mayroon pang konting sakit na nararamdaman. Kasi kailangan ko pa siyang i-rehab. Everyday katulad kanina nagwo-workout ako. Talagang tuluy-tuloy na yun,” he said.

“Hinahabol ko kasi yung isang leg ko. Medyo pumayat siya talaga eh. Nagpahinga ako ng two months nung andito ako.

  • Published in Sports

Duterte inaugurates solar panel factory

CUSTOMIZED PANEL President Duterte receives a token of a customized solar panel with his
image during the inauguration of Solar Philippines’ factory in Batangas province. With him are
Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi, Solar Philippines president Leandro Leviste and Charito Plaza. JOANBONDOC

SANTO TOMAS, Batangas — President Rodrigo Duterte on Wednesday inaugurated the first Filipino-owned solar panel factory that would enable Filipino homes to cut their electricity bills by 30 percent.
Solar Philippines president Leandro Leviste said the solar factory in Santo Tomas, Batangas province, would produce 2.5 million panels a year, establishing the Philippines as a player in the global renewable energy revolution.
The solar panels will also be exported to the United States and the European Union, he said.

“We have an agreement with Chinese manufacturers that, instead of making the panels in China, they will be made here in the Philippines for export to the US and Europe,” Leviste told reporters.
‘Made in the Philippines’

“The Americans and Europeans prefer those ‘Made in the Philippines’ because the quality is better,” he added.
Leviste said Solar Philippines had submitted to the country’s electric utilities an offer to replace many planned fossil fuel plants with solar farms that could produce 5,000 megawatts of electricity at lower costs.
Solar panel prices have fallen 90 percent over the last 10 years—50 percent in the last three years alone—prompting countries like China and India to source the majority of their future power from renewables.
“Electricity from coal plants costs around P5 to P6 per kilowatt but solar farms would cut that down to P2.99 per kilowatt. So, the charge for solar energy from solar farms is almost one-half,” Leviste said.
“Filipinos can save 30 percent on electricity, and the average family paying P3,000 will see their bill [drop] to P2,000 a month. And now with the latest batteries, entire towns can use solar energy for 24 hours a day,” he added.
For individual homes
Leviste said the Santo Tomas factory would also produce panels so that individual homes could have their own solar panels on their roofs.
“Before, these were only for SM or Robinsons malls but, because of this factory, all Filipinos who have an electricity bill of P1,000 to P3,000 a month can get a solar panel and pay it on installment,” he said.
Leviste said Solar Philippines had received 10,000 inquiries from people who were interested to buy solar panels.
“We started production in March for our projects with SM and solar farms in Tarlac and Mindoro. But with this grand launch, we will now offer these to the retail market,” he said.
“So, we can get rid of those fossil fuel plants and replace them with solar farms. The Philippines can save P200 billion every year or P1,000 per month per family,” he added.
Solar Philippines also announced during Wednesday’s plant inauguration a new initiative that would help communities with poor electricity service to form their own “solar power associations” and benefit from low-cost 24/7 power.
“We don’t measure our success in terms of profits or revenues, but our contribution toward the development of the Philippines. This factory will create 50,000 jobs for the solar industry, from manufacturing to installation, and show the world that Filipino ingenuity is second to none,” Leviste said.
Global leader
A statement from Solar Philippines said that by 2018, the Santo Tomas factory would manufacture panels that could produce 800 MW, “greater than the solar production capacity in the entire United States, making the Philippines a global leader in solar panel manufacturing.”
“Around the world, consumers are going solar because they see the renewable energy revolution has already arrived. We are optimistic that not only will Filipinos think the same, but also soon see that the Philippines can become the leader in this global energy transition,” Leviste said.


3 witnesses to testify on Kian killing in Senate today

Despite concerns for their safety, three witnesses — two of them minors — will testify in the Senate today to detail how police officers killed Kian delos Santos, 17, in Caloocan City last week, their lawyer said on Wednesday.
Among the things the witnesses — all female and friends of the slain teenager — will discuss was “how random” a police asset had pointed to Delos Santos, which eventually led to his death in the hands of police officers.
Maligned in the media
Lawyer June Ambrosio of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines said the witnesses were seeking justice for Delos Santos.
“They are Kian’s friends and they feel so bad that he’s being maligned in the media and social media as a drug courier, a runner. He’s not. He’s a good kid. A diligent student. He wanted to be a policeman,” Ambrosio said.
She said the witnesses had expressed concern about the possible “disruption of their lives and the safety of their families.”

Senator’s custody
The witnesses — aged 13, 16 and 31 — are under the care of Sen. Risa Hontiveros.
Ambrosio said she had met the witnesses several times. She also assisted them on Wednesday when they met representatives from the Office of the Ombudsman and the National Bureau of Investigation at the Philippine General Hospital.
The lawyer said she was considering filing murder charges against the Caloocan policemen involved in the killing of Delos Santos.
Hontiveros’ camp would continue to provide sanctuary for the witnesses after they declined to be placed under the custody of the Public Attorney’s Office.
The senator also scoffed at criticisms that her decision to help Delos Santos was politically motivated.
She said she had been very vocal against systematic killings under the Duterte administration.
Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II on Wednesday raised doubts about the credibility of the three witnesses, “considering the bias of their handler.”
Aguirre stressed that witnesses were welcome to the government’s witness protection program.

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