POSTSCRIPT / October 14, 1999 / Thursday


Philippine STAR Columnist

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Knowing Erap’s weakness, Ho scores big with Palace

THE royal treatment accorded Macau casino king Stanley Ho betrays the preoccupation and priorities of the Estrada administration. But does everybody, every political and civic leader around, agree with the obvious preference of Mr. Estrada for this kind of foreign investment?

Congress may have to consider legislation laying down policy on such matters as making this small impoverished country a big-time gambling capital, a haven of casino moguls being displaced from their present bases of operation.

We already have too many home-grown gambling lords throwing their weight around, practically running the government while sucking the blood of people seeking deliverance from poverty. Do we add another big one, a foreigner at that?

* * *

TAKING off from the Macau experience, are we ready to give Ho and his ilk the same kind of political influence he had exercised on the administrators of that colony soon reverting to China? How do we handle him and operators like him?

Ho must have done his homework. Even at this early stage, Ho has made instant connections in high places. He seems to resonate on the same wavelength as our President. Obviously, Ho knows Erap’s soft spots.

He knows how to catch the eye of Erap Estrada. Ho has been mesmerizing him with a spiel about building houses for the poor, generating jobs, the usual bleeding-heart line about looking after the mahihirap.

Is that all it takes – big bucks, never mind if they are dirty bucks — to score big with the Estrada administration?

* * *

WE just came from a public demonstration of inventions of NASA engineer Daniel D. Dingel, with his water-powered car being the centerpiece. They are the product of basic – not high – technology and the Filipino’s innate ingenuity.

In attendance were media, businessmen, a congressman, a fellow inventor of Dingle, and officials of the departments of energy and of science and technology. In deference to them, however, we will not identify these witnesses or presume to divine their thoughts. We leave it to them to speak up, if they care to.

The demo was held at Dingel’s place in Parañaque where his gadgets are not only on permanent display but some of them are actually being used.

* * *

A BRIEF flashback is in order for those who have not read previous Postscripts on Dingel. The 60ish engineer had removed the fuel tank of his Toyota Corolla and put in his “mini-reactor” the size of a car battery that extracts hydrogen and oxygen from plain water then feeds them into the engine in place of gasoline.

Imagine the revolutionary impact of Dingel’s device making the world’s oil cartel suddenly irrelevant. His invention would also save Mother Earth and us from the deadly pollution and the damage on the ozone layer inflicted by the burning of fossil fuel.

This is an old invention of Dingel. Previous administrations first showed excitement and interest, but soon turned cold and evasive when it became clear that this could disrupt the domination of the world economy by oil and money merchants who also control much of what goes on in this country.

* * *

ANOTHER fascinating invention shown yesterday was what Dingel called an Electronic Magnetic Fluid that seals with a magnetic field the gap between a car engine’s piston and the cylinder where it moves.

The sealing of the gap helps eliminate smoke (from unburned fuel), improves burning of the fuel and improves the compression of the engine and thus gives the vehicle unusual power for spurt and speed.

With just two tablespoonfuls of the EMF put into it, a car’s tailpipe stops emitting foul smoke. Its acceleration shows a dramatic surge. A manual-shift car no longer stalls and drags, but continues to move on — on any gear — even without the driver stepping on the gas pedal or the clutch.

A manual car with EMF behaves like it had automatic shift, even when the driver forgets to downshift or step on the clutch when the car slows down on any gear.

* * *

SOME of the witnesses who allowed Dingel to put EMF into their engines were amazed at the dramatic improvement in the performance of their cars.

A new Pajero, a Mitsubishi model that is notorious for smoke-belching and sluggish climbing, suddenly stopped emitting its usual dark smoke with EMF treatment. On first gear and without the driver stepping on the gas pedal, the vehicle continued to roll on, climbing an embankment without effort.

An aide of Dingel told us that some car companies buy his EMF to put into brandnew cars to impress buyers with the “power” of their models.

* * *

THE Department of Science and Technology that earlier raised its eyebrows on Dingel’s contraption, has agreed to give it a second look. Dingel has attracted so much attention that the department can no longer pretend he and his invention do not exist.

Government scientists and representatives of the inventor and the lay sector are expected to meet shortly to lay down what the DOST calls “protocol.” This is presumably a program that includes the points that need checking to determine the integrity of the invention.

If the gadget passes this check, it is presumed that the government itself will then help Dingel gain worldwide patents for it.

But based on what we now know of Dingel and his machine, even if he fails to satisfy government scientists, he will not stop. He may just accept one of the many offers he has received from foreigners to help him refine and commercially produce his invention.

* * *

AT this point, we want to apologize to the many readers who have sent us email and other messages about Dingel and his revolutionary invention. For various reasons, we have failed to acknowledge some of these messages. But however late it is, we intend to respond to all of them.

We have forwarded some of the messages to Dingel, including earnest-sounding letters offering substantial financial assistance. We feel that on this matter we are just a medium and that only the inventor can properly respond to the offers.

There were also a few letters from readers who claimed to be topnotch scientists themselves and who warned us that Dingel is a fraud. But no proof of that accusation has been put forward.

Our attitude has been that of an observer who is also a catalyst. We are not totally sold yet on Dingel’s invention. This is because while we understand the general scientific principles it uses and have seen it work, we’re not privy to its intricate details.

As we told a meeting yesterday that included DOST officials, we hope we did not raise false hopes when we wrote about the invention. Our intention was merely to make the public aware of it and possibly prompt government to give Dingel a chance to prove the fact of his invention.

* * *

CAMELLA & Palmera (C&P) Homes, meanwhile, sent us a rejoinder to scattered comments that Speaker Manuel Villar actually made billions in building and selling houses and that his business acumen should not be palmed off as the philanthropic act of a champion of the homeless.

Executive Vice President Marcelino Mendoza of C&P said in a letter: “Since C&P Homes is owned by a thousand individual stockholders, we cannot rightfully claim that ergo Speaker Manny Villar is C&P Homes… Our company has neither the liability nor the culpability in the alleged ‘massive housing fraud’ mentioned in your column.

“The failure of certain government agencies to collect arrears on our homebuyers from the Unified Lending Program of the government should not be made an issue against us… We would like to clarify that in the processing of certain housing loans, the role of Capital Bank (which used to be controlled by Villar’s family – FDP) was merely to facilitate payment.

“Our company worked hard to build affordable homes for those who could less afford and many of them chose to buy from us. It is just unfortunate that because of the financial crisis being experienced in our country, many of them are having difficulty in paying their housing loans.”

* * *

(First published in the Philippine STAR of October 14, 1999)

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