POSTSCRIPT / January 26, 2003 / Sunday

By FEDERICO D. PASCUAL JR.

Philippine STAR Columnist

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How do we measure the power of prayer?

PRO-PEACE VIGIL: Mother Teresa said one time: “I was once asked why I don’t participate in anti-war demonstrations. I said that I will never do that, but as soon as you have a pro-peace rally, I’ll be there.”

Mother Teresa is no longer with us, but as we hang on the brink of war, here is a global pro-peace vigil using the power of prayer to stop the impending invasion of Iraq by the forces being primed by US President George W. Bush.

One difference we see is that this time, there will be an attempt to measure the physical force generated by millions of people all over the globe focusing and praying hard together in what has been billed as “The Great Experiment III.”

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MEASURING ENERGY: On Feb. 9 at noon New York time (1 a.m. Feb. 10 in Manila), millions of peace rallyists around the world will focus their prayers, sending a wave of healing energy to the governments of both the United States and Iraq.

Join peace advocates James Twyman, Doreen Virtue and Gregg Braden in manifesting a peaceful conclusion to this standoff in the Middle East.

Technicians will be with Twyman and a large group of “Lightworkers” in Jerusalem taking measurements to hopefully prove the effectiveness of the prayer technology employed. We have no technical details of how they will do the measurement.

Please pass the word to everyone you know, and most of all, participate by adding your own energy and keeping vigil at the appointed hour (use New York time reference).

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TO GET IT, GIVE IT: Twyman will be in Israel instead of Iraq, because Jerusalem is the cradle of the three major monotheistic religions, and is in many ways the most powerful vortex in the Middle East.

Mother Teresa once wrote a prayer, which is an adaptation of the Prayer of St. Francis, that shows her chosen path to peace:

“When I am hungry, give me someone that I can feed. And when I am thirsty, give me someone who needs a drink. When I’m cold, give me someone to keep warm. And when I grieve, give me someone to console.”

So… if you want something, the only way to truly have it is to give it to someone else.

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SEND HEALING LIGHT: The organizers said: “We are seeking the experience of oneness, for only then does the Peace of God flow into our lives. Therefore, we’re asking you to join the millions of people who’ll spend Feb. 9 giving peace and compassion to everyone they meet. 

“Then at the appointed time on that day, join us as we focus our prayers of peace, sending healing light to dissolve the hatred and suspicion that could lead to war.

“Some might think it naive and simplistic, but we believe that our loving actions are what will heal the world, and that our prayers of peace are the most powerful force in the Universe.”

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BENDING THE WORLD: The organizers call it the Spiritual Art of Peacemaking. They are also gathering 100,000 trained Emissaries of Peace to stand at the front line of this prayer vigil, activating an ancient technology of prayer at the same moment.

These people have undergone several weeks of training through the Internet. You are welcome to join them. If you would like to be part of this group, go to and click onto the registration button for the Spoonbenders class.

This is a by-donation or free course that, according to the organizers, should enable you to bend a spoon with your mind in three weeks, then apply the same technology to bending the whole world toward peace. Try it.

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DISCRIMINATORY EO: Owners of registered motor vehicles bought second-hand from-licensed importers are protesting Executive Order No. 142 and LTO Memorandum Circular No. 03417 pertaining to the registration of their units.

Their main beef is that the EO and the LTO circular are discriminatory against Filipino car-owners who can afford only reconditioned vehicles.

In addition, they deplore that the LTO circular was issued without the EO’s implementing rules first being studied and laid down. They say the indecent haste betrays the bad faith of the government.

The EO requires that second-hand vehicles must have clearances from the Customs and the Internal Revenue bureaus before they are registered and when their registration is renewed.

The same rule does not apply to vehicles imported under the Car Development Program by car manufacturers and assemblers.

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FORMULA FOR GRAFT: That exemption is patently discriminatory, but this anti-poor prejudice could be rationalized in view of the reported smuggling and tax evasion by some unscrupulous importers of second-hand vehicles.

However, when the EO still requires that registered second-hand vehicles must again be covered by BIR and Customs clearances upon renewal of registration, that is discrimination to the second degree.

It seems that the government itself does not trust the LTO’s own first registration. It does not believe in the sanctity of its own documents. But why punish car-owners for a deficiency of the government’s own system?

The LTO could be very strict the first time a second-hand vehicle is registered, but once the unit is registered, the LTO should not harass the owner all over again by requiring him to submit new clearances every time the car is presented for re-registration. This is a formula for corruption.

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PROHIBITIVE PRICES: Recall the problem of music and video compact discs being illegally copied. One factor fueling piracy and tax-evasion is the prohibitive prices of genuine CDs.

Customers will not settle for pirated copies if the prices of genuine CDs are not exorbitant. Note that when manufacturers and distributors of genuine CDs lowered their prices, the sale of pirated copies dropped significantly.

The same observation applies to motor vehicles. Everybody prefers a brand-new car — if he can afford it. But because prices are prohibitive and unreasonable (compared to the landed cost), many people are forced to settle for used units.

The greed of car dealers and assemblers is the single factor pushing the sale of reconditioned second-hand vehicles, including right-hand units converted for left-hand operation in the country.

If that is all that the ordinary Filipino can afford, why punish him?

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CURING TAX EVADERS: We hope medical doctors will do something themselves about the rampant tax-evasion going on in their ranks, instead of waiting for enforcers to crack down on them.

This email from Carlo Marco using a newecongroup address is representative of the sentiments expressed about doctors who, many patients emailing us say, are one of the biggest tax evaders among professionals:

“We have these two regular doctors. One is my wife’s ob-gyne while the other is a pedia. My beef with them is that they do not issue receipts whenever we pay them for our monthly checkups. So this means that their income is not taxed.

“Do you think we should report them? Where do we report them? They’re good docs and all, but with this VAT coming up I’m sure they’ll be upping their fees again. But if there are no receipts, that means that they don’t declare their income/pay and they don’t pay the corresponding taxes.”

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(First published in the Philippine STAR of January 26, 2003)

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