POSTSCRIPT / October 17, 2002 / Thursday

By FEDERICO D. PASCUAL JR.

Philippine STAR Columnist

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Worst enemy of Bush is himself, not Saddam

MORE LOTTO TIPS: Having started last time to talk on how to bet in the SuperLotto, whose draw at 9 p.m. tonight promises a jackpot of more than P185 million, we now give you updates on how the numbers 1 to 49 have been behaving lately.

Since Jan. 6 this year, there have been 62 draws, the last being last Oct. 13 (a Sunday, the other draw day being Thursday).

During that time, the llamado or most active number has been 44 which has come out 11 times, the last time being last Sept. 8. Other active numbers have been 5, 12, 14, 18, 23, 24, 31 and 43 (each came out 10 times), and 3, 6, 19, 21, 33, 34, 45 and 49 (nine times). Some bettors favor numbers showing what looks like a winning streak.

The dejado or those with the least appearances are numbers 42 (came out only three times), 20, 22, 29 and 32 (four times). Having slumbered long, some of these laggards might start to stir this week.

Another young pair came out last draw (Oct. 13) — numbers 3 and 4. In the draw before that (Oct. 10), the pair 40 and 41 came out, and before that (Oct. 6), 21 and 22 popped up together. If you feel like betting on a pair of consecutive numbers, go ahead.

Number 4 came out last time despite its having won already in the previous draw. Many numbers behave that way, popping up in several successive draws. If you really want a number but it already came out in the previous draw, ignore the repetition and just bet on it.

In the current period since August, there have been 22 draws. The most active numbers during this time have been 3, 5, 26 and 40. Just a hint.

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NO SENSE SPLURGING: In a field consisting of the numbers from 1 to 49, the total number of possible six-number combinations is 13,983,816 if none of the numbers is used more than once and the numbers are arranged without regard to order.

That means that the winning chance of a P10 bet is just one out of 13,983,816 — a looong shot.

Theoretically, the more bets you place, the higher is the chance or probability that you will hit the jackpot. But with your chances that slim, it does not make much sense to splurge and bet heavily.

Getting two or even ten tickets will not improve your chances appreciably. One P10 bet would do in this game of pure chance. Many Lotto bettors became millionaire-winners with just one bet.

For many Pinoy bettors, gut feel is far superior to cold statistics. If you feel very strongly for a number — such as one taken from birth dates, license plate and phone numbers — include it in your six-number combination right away!

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BUSH BENT ON WAR: All the while, we sit on edge wondering when President George W. Bush will finally give the insane order for the United States to invade Iraq without clear provocation, and in the process possibly ignite a third world war.

Bush’s enemy is actually himself. His psychiatrist should tell him that. He may not like Iraq President Saddam Hussein, but he certainly has no reason to transfer that hatred to the innocent Iraqi people and the rest of us who cannot run away from the fallout of a possible global conflagration.

We read last night the fiery speech of veteran California Democrat Rep. Pete Stark voting against the Iraq war resolution in Congress. As his ringing words echoed our sentiment, we print here the first part of his speech:

“Mr. Speaker, I rise in opposition to this resolution (authorizing military force against Iraq). I am deeply troubled that lives may be lost without a meaningful attempt to bring Iraq into compliance with UN resolutions through careful and cautious diplomacy.

“The bottom line is I don’t trust this president and his advisors.

“Make no mistake, we are voting on a resolution that grants total authority to the president, who wants to invade a sovereign nation without any specific act of provocation. This would authorize the United States to act as the aggressor for the first time in our history. It sets a precedent for our nation — or any nation — to exercise brute force anywhere in the world without regard to international law or international consensus.

“Congress must not walk in lockstep behind a president who has been so callous to proceed without reservation, as if war was of no real consequence.

“You know, three years ago in December, Molly Ivins, an observer of Texas politics, wrote: ‘For an upper-class white boy, Bush comes on way too hard. At a guess, to make up for being an upper-class white boy.’

“‘Somebody,’ she said, ‘should be worrying about how all this could affect his handling of future encounters with some Saddam Hussein.’ How prophetic, Ms. Ivins.

“Let us not forget that our president — our commander in chief — has no experience with, or knowledge of, war. In fact, he admits that he was at best ambivalent about the Vietnam War. He skirted his own military service and then failed to serve out his time in the National Guard. And, he reported years later that at the height of that conflict in 1968 he didn’t notice ‘any heavy stuff going on.’

“So we have a president who thinks foreign territory is the opponent’s dugout and Kashmir is a sweater. What is most unconscionable is that there is not a shred of evidence to justify the certain loss of life. Do the generalized threats and half-truths of this administration give any one of us in Congress the confidence to tell a mother or father or family that the loss of their child or loved one was in the name of a just cause?

“Is the president’s need for revenge for the threat once posed to his father enough to justify the death of any American?

“I submit the answer to these questions is no.”

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BOMBSHELL A DUD: In yesterday’s hearing of the Senate committee on public services on the renewal of the franchise of the Manila Electric Co. (Meralco), former Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile threw a bombshell. But it turned out to be a dud.

He tried stealing the thunder by accusing Meralco of overcharging its customers by P14 billion, by passing that amount to them after, he said, Meralco paid the amount to First Gas in payment for ghost delivery of electricity from its power plant in Sta. Rita, Batangas, from December 2000 to December 2001.

But Meralco executives quickly clarified the false alarm by showing that there was no electricity delivered from First Gas’ Sta. Rita plant to Meralco, no payment of Meralco to First Gas, and no passing on of the alleged payment to customers.

In short, First Gas chief executive officer Peter D. Garrucho Jr. said, “nakuryente si Mr. Enrile!” (That is the vernacular for “Mr. Enrile got a bum steer.”) Garrucho said the former senator must have been fed wrong information and, in his excitement, just tossed it to the Senate floor without checking.

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TO NAPOCOR, NOT MERALCO: Meralco president and chief operating officer Jesus P. Francisco explained that the period December 2000 to December 2001 was covered by an agreement between Meralco and the National Power Corp. aimed at preventing “undue increases in the cost of electricity to customers.”

Although Sta. Rita was already in commercial operation then, the agreement turned over to Napocor (instead of directly to Meralco) its delivery of electricity dictated by system requirements. But any generation of Sta. Rita during the agreed period was counted as part of Napocor deliveries to Meralco.

“We could have saved Mr. Enrile some aggravation had he checked with us on the information,” Francisco said. He said records submitted to the Energy Regulatory Commission show Sta. Rita delivering to Meralco 1,199 milli0n kilowatt-hours from January to November 2000. Because of the agreement, the 952.6 million kilowatt-hours generated and delivered by Sta. Rita between December 2000 and December 2001 appeared as part of Napocor deliveries in the reports Meralco submitted to the ERC.

“Sta. Rita generated and delivered to Meralco 921 million kilowatt-hours in 2001. I don’t think kilowatts can be dispatched into thin air,” Garrucho said. “Moreover, Malampaya gas was available starting Oct. 1, 2000, and we were busy generating power during the commissioning period. Since June of 2000, Sta. Rita was always available to deliver power.”

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(First published in the Philippine STAR of October 17, 2002)

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