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Specials and Events
Last night's TV news on Channel 7, Channel 5, LOVETV, PGTV, West Vision (Cayo) and CTV 3. Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, and other specials
The San Pedro Sun
The island’s standard six students sit second part of PSE
The second phase of this year’s Primary School Examination (PSE) exam took place on Friday, May 4th, and saw hundreds of Standard Six students from across schools on Ambergris Caye and Caye Caulker sitting the exam at the San Pedro High School. The second part of the PSE tested students in Mathematics and Social Studies.
The exam started at 8AM, and at 2PM the school’s buzzer signaled the ending of the 2018 PSE testing. Many students were relieved to be done, happily heading to the school gates to meet their teachers or parents. Several claimed that the exam was not as challenging as they thought it would be. Evan Vernon of the San Pedro Roman Catholic Primary School told The San Pedro Sun that the exam was very easy. “My teachers did help me a lot, that is why I did not feel that it was so complicated,” he said.
San Pedro Chapter of Justices of the Peace elect new Board of Directors
During a meeting held at the San Pedro High School (SPHS) on Wednesday, May 2nd, the San Pedro Chapter of the Justices of the Peace (JP) elected a new Board of Directors for the upcoming year. After nominations and voting, the new board consists of Clive Welsh remaining as president, Walter Zepeda as the new vice president, Maria Elena Alamilla as treasurer, Ana Ico as secretary, while the new executive members include Delia Pere and Grant Crimmins.
The third meeting of the year for the Chapter started at 7PM with president Welsh, welcoming and thanking everyone for their attendance. This was followed by the singing of the National Anthem and a short invocation by JP Javier Gongora. The meeting proceeded with the election of the new board facilitated by Magistrate Janelle Villanueva.
Belize sets April 10, 2019 for ICJ referendum
Following a Cabinet meeting, the Government of Belize (GOB) has set April 10, 2019, as the date for the referendum to resolve the Guatemalan’s claim to Belize at the International Court of Justice (ICJ). The announcement was made on Monday, April 30th, via a press release in which GOB also stated that a public awareness campaign to the tune of $8 million is already underway under the banner ‘ICJ, Be Informed.’ The nationwide campaign will include various approaches and Belizeans are encouraged to learn more about the sensitive issue on which they will be asked to decide upon. On referendum day, Belizeans will simply answer ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ to the question if the ICJ should decide on the territorial, maritime and insular claim from Guatemala over Belizean territory.
PUC approves a 4.4% increase in electricity rates
The Public Utilities Commission (PUC) has granted Belize Electricity Limited (BEL) a 4.4% increase in electricity rates. The increase represents 38.62 cents per kilowatt hour through June of 2020. BEL had originally requested an increase of 7.1%, which is equivalent to an average rate of 39.5 cents per kilowatt-hour for the annual Tariff Period from July 1, 2018, to June 30, 2019. BEL made the request to PUC early in April of this year stating that an increase is needed to cover the cost of power purchased from power producers. Even though the approved increase was lower than what BEL had requested, the increase is still expected to impact the cost of living in the country.
Ministry Of Health Receives Donation Of Equipment To Support Vector Control Efforts In Belize
On Thursday, May 3, 2018, at a small ceremony held at the Ministry of Health conference room in Belmopan, various vector control equipment was officially handed over to the Ministry of Health by the Government of the United Kingdom. The piloting of an Aedes Mosquito Surveillance Program supported through the procurement of 30 Android-based tablets, which would allow program managers to have real-time information on the Aedes mosquito infestation levels in order to monitor potential threats, and take appropriate interventions;
Misc Belizean Sources
Job Opening Chicken Depot on Caye Caulker
If interested come by!
DigiNet is in Orange Walk!
Get Ready Orange Walk! Our new state of the art fiber optic network- DigiNet is in your area! Our technicians are hard at work deploying fiber, so you can enjoy lightning fast internet speeds. Plans start as low as $69.
CARSI ESF Grants
Funds: US $ 200K - 400K
Focus: Strengthening Civil Society and Civil Servant capacity through partnership. Deadline: June 4th, 2018
2018 Lagoon-Reef Eco-Challenge
Mark your calendars! The 2018 Lagoon-Reef Eco-Challenge takes place on Saturday, May 26th and Sunday, May 27th. Those interested in taking on the challenge can find our more via email: [email protected]
Photos of the Grand Opening of the Belize City Civic Center
Grand Opening of the Belize City Civic Center Smart Hurricanes vs. Digicell Defenders on Monday 30th, April 2018
BTB at the Taipei International Travel Fair 2018
National Institute of Culture and History (NICH) hereby wishes to invite tenders for Audit Services required in connection with the general operations of NICH.
CANDICE PITTS SIDELINED BY PUP
Newly elected PUP city councilor Candice Pitts PHD, also known as the “johnny cake girl” saw her overly ambitious attempt to challenge PUP stalwart Gilroy Usher Sr for Port Loyal standard bearer come to a crashing halt after the PUP bosses dictated that Gilroy Usher would instead be endorsed as Portloyola standard bearer May 20th.
This after there was a public outcry from PUP loyalists that it was unfair & facey for the Johnny Cake girl to try her hand as area rep when she’s hast even been a city councilor for a month.
Many Portloyola voters and PUP party loyalists felt thrown off by the rush to power by Pitts. Many feel she should pay her dues in the council before challenging someone like Usher who has taken a beating for the PUP in the last three general elections.
Holy Cha Chaac
Maya from the villages of San Pablo and San Jose(Orange Walk) preparing the food which will be the offering for the Holy Cha Chaac . Cha Chaac one of the most important rituals for the Yucatec Maya of Belize . The Way of the Masewal (U Beelil Máasewal Wiinik).
Another Night, Another Murder
For most of this week and last week, violent crime has dominated the headlines. And last night was no different when we reported on a wild shooting at a Chinese Store on Fabers Road in Belize City, which left 4 persons injured.
And the violence in that area continued. Tonight's headline is about a murder which happened a few blocks away at the corner of Fabers Road and Central American Boulevard, only 25 hours later.
29 year-old Jason Sutherland was in his yard when a gunman, pretending to want to do business, got close enough to kill him at close range.
Sutherland Spent His Last Day At Court
In an odd aside, Sutherland spent most of yesterday at the Belize City Magistrate's Court for a traffic offence. He pleaded guilty to driving a car without insurance and was fined $155.00 - with a one year disqualification from driving.
Police Resisting Crime Wave
So, what's driving all these violent crimes, and what can police do in Belize City to contain it? That's what we asked Deputy Commissioner Chester Williams when we caught up with him at another event today.
He said that police have an idea why all these recent murders and shootings are happening, and they will re-adjust and deploy as necessary.
Here's how he put it:
Chester Williams - Deputy Commissioner, Operations:
"I can assure the public that we have noticed that the trend in the violence have changed. We are concentrating more with the rivalry involved with two other fraction. That rivalry had in some extent became dormant..."
Cops Calibrating Crime Response
National Security Minister John Saldivar had a similar opinion on the spike in violence. He told us that the police top brass are carefully tracking the crime trends and calibrating their response accordingly:
Hon. John Saldivar - Minister of National Security:
"Crime has as you know is cyclical sometimes its up, sometimes it's down. We are trying to control it. Whenever we see the spikes we try to find out what's the reason for it and see if we can adjust and try to reconfigure our operations and that's what we are doing. The last few days that we have had, we think we are able to get it under control."
Shot Up Cousin, Judge Says Guilty
Today a man was found guilty of the attempted murder of his own cousin. It was a trial without jury and Justice Colin Williams found that 25 year old Kevaughan Staine was Guilty of shooting his cousin Taisha Staine 9 times.
Prosecutor Rene Montero Jr, who represented the Crown, submitted that the sentencing guidelines require a social impact report. Justice Williams ordered that the report be submitted on or before Wednesday, September 5, 2018, and he adjourned sentencing until September 24.
5k Bail For 40K Robber
He is accused of jacking almost 40 thousand dollars in a daring armed robbery at the UNO gas station in San Ignacio, but 19 year old Marvin Phillips was released on a bail of $5,000 today by new Supreme Court Justice Francis Cumberbatch.
The allegation is that on April 23, Phillips and Asher Saunders - both from Belize City, held up the UNO Service Station in San Ignacio and made off with a total of thirty seven thousand one hundred and forty dollars and forty-eight cents (37,140.48) in cash and cheques.
The police reported that at around 10:00, four men went to the service station. Two of them went inside the convenience store while the others stayed outside.
Owning A Gun, Never So Expensive
Tonight there is concern amongst gun owners after reports emerged that gun license fees are going up sharply on Monday.
7News has seen a copy of a new fee schedule which increases the fees by as much as 300% in some cases. And, in other cases introduces two or three hundred dollar fees where previously there were none.
The new fees were first proposed in September of 2017, and the announcement was that they would be implemented in the coming months. And it seems that they will now be implemented as of Monday.
Std. Six Students’ Sigh Of Relief
Today was an exciting day for thousands of Standard 6 students all over Belize because they sat their final two PSE exams, in math and social studies. After it was all over this afternoon we asked a few students how it went:
"Well the math was easy but the math two was kind of challenging and the Social Studies was easy."
Sahar Vasquez, reporter:
"Do you feel like you were well prepared?"
"How do you feel now that the PSE is over?"
"Well, I feel better and I have confidence I will do well."
Long Distance Leadercast
Today the Biltmore was packed with Belizeans ready to participate in one of the world's largest leadership seminars - which is called Leadercast. The seminar is actually held in Atlanta but countries all over the world live stream the seminar and for the third year in a row Chamberlain Consulting organized it in Belize. We stopped by at the Biltmore this morning and found that this year's event had another all-star line up of speakers.
Teresita Perez Martinez, Chamberlain Consultants- Chief Implementation Consultant:
"This year our theme is leading yourself. This year we are focusing on you as an individual. Understanding that you need to be able to take care of yourself, make sure that you're in a good state of mind health wise, minds, soul-wise, spiritual wise before you are able to lead other people..."
Saldivar Serves Stationary Cops
Earlier in the news, you saw our interviews with National Security Minister John Saldivar and Deputy Police Commissioner Chester Williams.
We ran into them this afternoon delivering lunch to all the police officers stationed at those temporary outposts as part of Operation, ACT.
Their police and ministry bosses wanted show them a little appreciation for remaining diligent and standing watch at these locations in the blistering hot sun.
The Terms Of Torture
The UN Subcommittee on Prevention of Torture visited Belize for the first time last week. They spent five days here and visited the central prison, police stations throughout the country, as well as a juvenile institution, where - a release says "members of the delegation freely interviewed staff as well as people deprived of their liberty."
Their conclusion?: Belize must establish an independent national preventive mechanism to avert and deter torture and ill-treatment of people deprived of their liberty.
Marijuana On The Move, San Antonio Road
Cayo police caught a wholesale quantity of marijuana on the move on the San Antonio Road this morning. At around 9:40, San Ignacio Rural West precinct police intercepted a Toyota pickup. They found 13.6 kilos or 30 pounds of cannabis packed tightly into two knapsacks and a large garbage bag in the pan. The truck was heading in the direction of Pine Ridge towards a feeder road that leads to Georgeville village
Five men were in the pickup. They are 55 year old Danilo Tzib of San Antonio Village, 26 year old Fernando Alford, 21 year old Daniel Villanueva, and 24 year old Andre Pugh, all of Georgeville along with 20 year old Carlos Esquivel Garcia 20yrs, a Guatemalan of San Antonio village.
Belizean Baller Devin Daly From Denmark
The Civic Center opened up on Monday to a full house, actually it was standing room only. But, tonight will be the true test of what kind of numbers it can pull without the excitement of an opening night for the most expensive building in Belize's history.
It's the opening night of the playoffs for the Elite Basketball League and there is a marquee name to get fans into the seats. The Belize Hurricanes and Dangriga Dream Ballers will be battling it out in the first game of their matchup. Both teams have an impressive lineup but the Hurricanes have brought in Devin Daly - who has been playing in the top league in Denmark - where he won a championship last year. He told us he is hungry to win and to re-introduce himself to fans.
COLA: “No, No, No to The ICJ”
As we've bene reporting, Belize's referendum on the ICJ is set for next April - and public opinion is split on whether to vote yes or no. But, activist group COLA has launched a campaign for an emphatic "NO" vote. Today, President Geovanni Brackett told us why:
Geovannie Brackett, President - COLA:
"We want people to come out in numbers and vote no to the ICJ. We're not calling for a boycott because we don't want what happened in Guatemala with very little participation and then you have a majority of that. We're calling for people to come out and vote no to the ICJ."
Mental Health Begins in Placencia
This month is being observed worldwide as Mental Health Awareness month and Placencia village is doing its part to bring some much-needed awareness to the often un-diagnosed illness that affects millions. Tomorrow they are kicking off the month with the "Good Minded Festival".
It may sound very "yogi" but in fact, the festival promises to be a day filled with fun and knowledge about the debilitating illness. We spoke to one of the organizers by phone.
CHARGED FOR SHAL...
On Wednesday we spoke to Maya Mopan resident, Police Constable Brian Shal who got chopped up by a machete mob when he tried to break up a fight. He was chopped to the head and leg.
Today, Belmopan police report that they have formally arrested and charged, 19 year old Abelino Cal and 24 year old Irvin Cal both of a Belmopan address for the crimes of Aggravated Assault and Wounding.
The Cold-Blooded Execution of Jason Sutherland
Gun violence in Belize City appears to be on the rise once again, particularly in Port Loyola where two separate shooting incidents have been recorded within a twenty-four-hour period. On [...]
Kevaughan Staine Guilty of Attempted Murder of Cousin
Twenty-one-year-old Kevaughan “Bigga” Staine remains on remand after he was convicted on a charge of attempted murder for trying to kill his own cousin, nineteen-year-old Taisha Staine. The near fatal-incident [...]
Conquering Mathematical Jinx on Day 2 of P.S.E.
A common theme of our reporting over the years on the Primary School Examination is that English, Social Studies and Science have all been less challenging to exam-takers than Mathematics, [...]
B.D.F. Stops Championship Final Show with Protest on Disallowed Penalty
In sporting news, the planned game one of the Premier League of Belize Championship Finals for this weekend has been postponed. General Secretary to the Premier League of Belize, Wilhelm [...]
Seeing Improvement in English Writing
The Primary School Examinations are already half-marked – a computer scanner does the job for the multiple-choice English and Science papers, while selected teachers come in to mark the composition [...]
The Special Measures for “Special Needs” P.S.E. Takers
We have previously covered how students with “special needs” – the visually and hearing impaired; the handicapped; those with autism and developmental learning disabilities – have taken part in the [...]
Why the P.S.E. Remains Relevant
What really are the importance and significance of the P.S.E. results? There is an annual debate about whether the teaching content gets through to the youths, and the majority of [...]
How You Can Be a Leader
For a third consecutive year, Chamberlain Consulting has embarked on hosting a leadership conference in Belize. Leadercast Live takes place in Atlanta, U.S.A., but is simulcast to over a hundred [...]
Michelle Rudon Chosen as an Inspiring Leader
Nine dynamic presentations were featured in the 2018 Leadercast. The inspirational speakers are from different walks of life, but overcame challenges that have proven that a leader is not a [...]
Hepatitis A Watch in the West
The Ministry of Health is monitoring growing cases of Hepatitis ‘A’ in the west. It is a highly contagious liver infection caused by the Hepatitis virus. According to the ministry’s [...]
Donations to Fight Mosquito-Borne Diseases
The Ministry of Health’s Vector Control Unit received a trove of donations, including traps and tablets to fight mosquito borne diseases. The British Government handed over the equipment to the [...]
Smart Belize Hurricanes Import Belizean Overseas star Devin Daly for Playoffs
On the heels of a strong performance on Monday night at the Belize City Civic Center, the playoffs for the 2018 season of the National Elite Basketball League kicks off [...]
Hurricanes C.E.O. Says Category Five is Coming
The Hurricanes are currently ranked second in the 2018 season, with a five-game winning streak going into tonight’s game. Dubbed a battle of rice and beans versus hudut, C.E.O. Gilbert [...]
Students sit the final two PSE papers
The second phase of the Primary School Examinations concluded today. Thousands of primary school students sat the final two papers, Math and social studies. The exams do not only test what the standard six students learned over the past year but they actually cover material that has been covered over a span of eight years. …
Leadercast molding leaders
Good leaders are in demand and in order to fill this void a leadership conference was held in Belize City. The conference was made up of nine dynamic speakers who were being simulcast live from Atlanta, Georgia, USA to several different countries. Here in Belize, more than two hundred persons attended the conference. Love news …
UK donates $30 K to assist in the fight against vector-borne diseases
There are several mosquito-borne diseases found in Belize including Dengue and Zika. The Ministry of Health has been making strides to eradicate these diseases. For example, in 2014, there were one thousand one hundred confirmed dengue cases; however, in 2017, the Ministry managed to reduce that amount to forty-seven cases. Yesterday, the Ministry of Health …
Mayor Wagner has a new plan for collecting property taxes
took control of the Belize City Council after they were elected on March 7. As part of the council’s plan in collecting revenues, Wagner says that the property tax collecting scheme will be changed. Here’s how: Bernard Wagner, Mayor of Belize City: “What we have is a property tax …
Mayor Wagner says the elderly will not be affected
In a release last month, the United Democratic Party, expressed its disappointment and strongly condemned what it describes as the callous decision of Belize City Mayor Bernard Wagner to discontinue the property tax discount program. The UDP says that this program provides a standard 25 percent discount to senior citizens living in Belize City. They …
Belize City Council loses million dollar lawsuit
A de facto judgment was handed down against the Belize City Council and the mayor did not know about it. Belize Waste Control successfully sued the council for one million dollars. Mayor Bernard Wagner says he had no knowledge of this because he was not apprised of it by the City Administration Candice Miller. Bernard …
SSB says BCCI did not flatly reject proposal to increase contributions
The Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI) says it does not support the SSB’s proposal to increase contributions to the fund. This is what BCCI President Nikita Usher said in an interview aired on Love News earlier this week. According to Usher, the BCCI cannot support the proposal because besides increasing contributions and benefits, …
Jason Sutherland gunned down in his yard
Last night, another man was shot and killed in Belize City. According to police reports, sometime after 8:00 p.m. 29-year-old Jason Sutherland was socializing with friends in his yard on Central American Boulevard when they were approached by someone who fired several shots in their direction. Sutherland was hit several times. As a result, Sutherland …
Ministry of Health continues to monitor Hepatitis in Cayo Schools
On Wednesday the Ministry of Health informed the public of a localized outbreak of Hepatitis A in Benque Viejo del Carmen and Arenal Village in the Cayo District. Three cases were confirmed in Benque and eleven in Arenal Village. Lorna Perez Surveillance officer at the Ministry says the surveillance continues and the Ministry is currently …
Josue Carballo surprised about colleague’s bid for Orange Walk East
The People’s United Party will be holding a convention in Orange Walk East in June. While the party has endorsed numerous candidates for the upcoming general elections in 2020, the party has opted to have East residents chose the best man of two candidates – the current Mayor of Orange Walk Town, Kevin Bernard and …
SPT: Belize needs mechanism to stop and prevent torture and ill-treatment of persons in detention
The United Nations Subcommittee on Prevention of Torture, SPT, says that Belize must establish an independent national preventative mechanism to stop and prevent torture and ill-treatment of persons in detention. The committee was on a working visit Belize in late April. A national preventive mechanism is an independent national body that will examine the treatment of persons deprived of their liberty in places of detention on a regular basis. It should subsequently make recommendations to appropriate authorities.
Four shot in Faber’s Road Shooting
Five persons were shot in Belize City last night in two separate shooting incidents. We begin with one that happened on Faber’s Road Extension outside of a Chinese business establishment. A total of four persons were shot. The shooting was caught on video by a surveillance camera in the area. ...
Shooting in Taylor’s Alley
There was also a shooting near Pregnant Alley last night. 25 year old Hugh Thomas was the target and he was shot in the back. Police told us more. ASP Alejandro Cowo, OC CIB; Eastern Div: Sometime after 7 pm, police visited the Karl Huesner Memorial hospital where they observed a male person by the ...
Masked gunman shoots inside Burrel Boom police station
While police were on the scene dealing with the shooting of four persons at Faber’s Road extension, there was a brazen shooting incident at the Burrel Boom Police station. ASP Alejandro Cowo, OC CIB; Eastern Div: Burrel Boom police reported that police constable Chris Stain was inside of the Burrell...
Police update on Owen McFoy murder
Police are investigating the murder of 30 year old Owen McFoy who was gunned down on Tuesday night. It happened in the Windmill Area of Hattieville Village. ASP Alejandro Cowo, OC CIB; Eastern Div: The investigation is pointing out that sometime earlier in the night, the deceased was socializing wi...
Police update on Jason Williams Shooting
Yesterday we told you about the shooting in Dangriga where Jason Williams was shot to the shoulder. Today, police updated on that investigation. ASP Alejandro Cowo, OC CIB; Eastern Div: Sometime after 7:30pm, police visited 24 Unmagarugu Road where they saw Jason Williams suffering from an apparent ...
Escaped Corozal prisoners all recaptured
All three prisoners who escaped from a Corozal detention cell have been recaptured. Last week we told you that police had recaptured Johnito Matus. Yesterday, the last two prisoners, Austin Sutherland and Marvin Pech were also caught. ASP Alejandro Cowo, OC CIB; Eastern Div: On yesterday’s date at ...
Belmopan residents assess damage left by squatters
The residents of Doyle’s Delight Street in the Mount Pleasant Creek Community in Belmopan are in the process of rehabilitating the Green Reserve destroyed by squatters. Members of the community group met on the land reserve this morning to assess the damage caused. The community members also celebr...
Anthony Carballo walks from murder charge
24-year-old Anthony Carballo Junior has been acquitted of the charge of murder. Justice Colin Williams ruled that the caution statement given to police by Carballo was inadmissible after Carballo claimed that police tazered him to force him to confess. Carballo was accused of killing businessman Jermaine McNab in May of 2012.
Son-in-law charged for killing father-in-law
Gaspar Vargas was stabbed to the stomach. The 57 year old succumbed to that injury and police have since arrested his son in law and charged him for murder.
ASP, Alejandro Cowo, OC CIB; Eastern Division: Sometime after 2pm, San Pedro police visited the polyclinic where they observed Mr. Gaspar Vargas, a Belizean unemployed of San Mateo Area suffering from apparent stab wounds to the center of his stomach.
Will Candice Miller’s contract be terminated?
Tomorrow the suspension for Belize City Administrator Candice Miller is supposed to come to an end. However, online media reports are that a decision has been made to terminate Millers’ contract. A meeting was held between Miller and the City Council this afternoon but before that meeting, our colleagues in Belize City tried to get information from Mayor Bernard Wagner on the matter this morning; but he didn’t offer much. Here is how that went.
Belizeans arrested in El Salvador for money laundering
Four Belizeans have been arrested in El Salvador for money laundering offenses. According to Salvadorian media, 32 year old Marlon Alberto Valle, 28 year old Jessy Grabiel Ojeda, 35 year old Deymy Vanessa Rodríguez, all of Belizean nationality and 45 year old Abraham Felipe of Guatemalan nationality, were detained at the Monseńor Romero Airport in El Salvador.
One more freed of Bou-Nahra home invasion charges
Another person has seen charges withdrawn in the home invasion case of Diplomat Sarkis Bou-Nahra. Originally, 19 persons were charged in connection with the 2015 home invasion at the Burrell Boom residence of Bou-Nahra where a woman was reportedly raped during the invasion and burglary. However, the prosecution has had a hard time letting those charges stick and on Wednesday, only 4 of the 19 accused are left to face charges at this time.
Alleged Sex victim says she lied due to police threats
Another person who has been freed of charges is 39 year old Denfield Davis. Davis was accused of having unlawful sex with a 15 year old some two years ago. Davis faced four counts of unlawful sexual intercourse and one count of grievous harm. However, on Wednesday, May 2nd, Senior Crown Counsel Sheneiza Smith was forced to enter a “nolle pros” motion when the alleged victim gave a statement denying that she had sex with Davis.
Light bill gwen up!
Belizeans have been complaining about extremely high gas prices at the pump. While every few weeks there is an adjustment increasing those prices, your light bill is also going to increase. BEL had applied to the PUC in April for a 7.1% average increase in the mean electricity rate. While PUC has not granted that percentage, there is still an increase. PUC has approved a 4.4% increase.
PUP Endorses GILROY USHER
Last week we reported the ongoing tension in Port Loyola between Gilroy Usher and Candice Pitts. Long standing PUP Port Loyola Standard Bearer Gilroy Usher was contesting the 2020 general elections. However, his seat was not going unchallenged as newly elected PUP City Council Councilor, Candice Pitts, also threw her hat in the ring for PUP Standard Bearer of Port Loyola.