1999 Postscripts

December 1999

ONE responsibility of the leadership ” a collective term we use here to refer to those who exercise considerable influence over men and events ” is not to fan panic among the people with the creeping in of Y2K, or the year 2000, tomorrow night. [ Read More ]

WE said last time that you better have enough cash on hand to last you two weeks as the world crosses over to the new 2000 with the Y2K or Millennium Bug snapping at its heels. [ Read More ]

WITH just five days before the Y2K or Millennium Bug hits us, it’s timely to recall the measures we suggested as early as last March: [ Read More ]

WE’VE been swamped by queries about the phenomenon of an extremely bright full moon last night and tonight and the possibility of tidal waves and even a killer quake hitting these parts during the holidays. [ Read More ]

OUR initial reaction to the Supreme Court decision upholding the law deregulating the oil industry was one of resignation. [ Read More ]

PRESIDENT Erap Estrada seems to be having a hard time battling the big-time smugglers. That’s because the enemy is within. [ Read More ]

WILL somebody please help us find the answer to this important question: Until when should a new president be beholden to his financiers and consider his political debts paid? [ Read More ]

SO it was allegedly jellyfish that did in the Sual power plants and triggered that Luzon-wide blackout last Friday. [ Read More ]

FOREIGN Secretary Domingo Siazon was quoted as saying Friday that if the contents of 122 hot containers broiling in the pier area are found to be toxic, Japan would be willing to take them back. If! [ Read More ]

YOU think senators are more “honorable” than congressmen are? Watch their latest antic. [ Read More ]

THE unfortunate faux pas involving the postponement of the state visit next week of Czech Prime Minister Milos Zeman can be traced to many factors, but the main culprit appears to be the overeager Czech ambassador in Manila. [ Read More ]

STREET diggings and traffic snarls in Metro Manila may be too minor an issue to merit the attention of the President of the land, pero sobra na talaga! [ Read More ]

DOES Erap Estrada write to his children? Ever since his Christmas cards went into the wrong envelopes and caused a minor identity crisis in the families, we guess he has stopped writing to them. But then that’s just a guess. [ Read More ]

November 1999

CAN newspapermen be legally restrained from publishing their opinion on pending court cases by threats of their being cited for contempt if they express their views in print? [ Read More ]

THE scriptwriters of President Estrada should cut that silly drama of the Chief Executive giving his trembling Cabinet members a Nov. 30 deadline to resign. [ Read More ]

OUT there is the big bustling world with endless business possibilities. And here we are cowering in the shade of insular economic policies afraid to come out in the stimulating sun of world competition. [ Read More ]

ECONOMIST Alejandro Lichauco in his article “Estrada’s political tragedy” (Today, Nov. 18, 1999) again assailed free trade and globalization, which seem to be the avowed direction of President Estrada in his campaign to amend the Constitution. [ Read More ]

REMEMBER that accident last June where a Mandarin hotel lady worker was bumped and sent reeling across a Makati street by a rushing Mercedes bearing Merrill Lynch executive Stephen Cu-Unjieng and some Caucasian companions? [ Read More ]

SOME of us are not happy with the human rights reputation of new PNP Chief Panfilo “Ping” Lacson, and may be clinging to the slim possibility that his appointment to the top police post will be waylaid at the Commission on Appointments. [ Read More ]

WE look pathetic being scolded by China for our navy ship that has run aground in the Scarborough area. The big red dragon is breathing fire on us, telling us to remove that ship or else…. [ Read More ]

MILLIONS are being spent and millions more have been included in the budget for schools to buy thousands of personal computers for the use of students/faculty/staff and for linking the schools to other institutions and the Internet. [ Read More ]

BEFORE they auction off the smuggled luxury vehicles lent to officials close to President Estrada, pardon our asking some lingering questions. [ Read More ]

DESPITE the spirited attack by Surigao del Sur Rep. Prospero Pichay on the impending sale without public bidding of the government’s Tiwi-Makiling-Banahaw geothermal facilities to a crony-led consortium, we have this sickening feeling that the deal would still push through. [ Read More ]

SINCE last year we have been pointing out that this talk about piles of Marcos gold worth trillions waiting to be used to finally free us Filipinos from poverty is just part of a campaign of the Marcoses to clear themselves of illegal wealth charges and buy back respectability. [ Read More ]

PEASANTS have a valid question when they ask why President Estrada wants to give land and natural resources to moneyed foreigners when agrarian reform for landless tillers is not being carried out in earnest. [ Read More ]

THE long weekend should have afforded city dwellers a chance to hie off to the countryside to view the greenery and, hopefully, to recharge their lungs and brains with fresh air that has become a rare luxury. [ Read More ]

October 1999

UPDATE on the water-powered car: The 1,000-km supervised test run that we had proposed for the hydrocar invented by Daniel D. Dingel has been rejected by him. Dingel does not want it, according to his spokesman. [ Read More ]

THIRD CALL: Why is Daniel D. Dingel afraid to submit his hydrocar to a 1,000-km supervised test run if his claim is true that he has no hidden gasoline tank and that the vehicle runs on nothing but plain water? [ Read More ]

UNTIL yesterday, inventor Daniel D. Dingel has not agreed to our proposed 1,000-km test run to prove to the watching world that his modified 1600cc car has no hidden gasoline tank and runs on nothing but water. [ Read More ]

HELLO! Our calls to the house of hydrocar inventor Daniel D. Dingel remain unanswered. [ Read More ]

THE Filipino inventor of the water-powered car engine does not trust some top officials of the Department of Science and Technology who had dismissed his gadget even before they could test it in earnest. [ Read More ]

BY its name alone, the so-called Conscience Committee of President Estrada reviewing capital cases affirmed by the Supreme Court is an affront to the tribunal and the entire judicial system. [ Read More ]

THE question now being asked is not whether or not the latest opinion survey showing a plunge in President Estrada’s approval rating is accurate, but whether or not he can still reverse the downtrend and recover. [ Read More ]

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? [ Read More ]

PUBLIC Works Secretary Gregorio Vigilar has officially declared that all overpasses and bridges in Metro Manila are earthquake-resistant, meaning that they can withstand tremors of Intensity 7 or higher. [ Read More ]

WE’RE setting a bad example to the world. After the landscape victory of flickerville’s Erap Estrada in the 1998 presidential election, look who seriously wants to run for US president: Actor Warren Beatty and celebrity tycoon Donald Trump. The latter wants TV host Oprah Winfrey to run as his vice president. [ Read More ]

REP. Leovigildo B. Banaag of Agusan del Norte has filed House Resolution No. 1164 urging the proper government agencies to help former NASA engineer Daniel D. Dingel develop his invention using plain water to generate hydrogen gas to run motor vehicles. [ Read More ]

THE clinical findings of an American psychiatrist who examined this legislator in 1984 may explain (his/her) behavior, particularly (his/her) endless attacks on the object of (his/her) wrath. [ Read More ]

WHAT covenant on constitutional amendments are President Estrada and congressional leaders claim to be forging? There is no such thing as a “covenant” among fork-tongued politicians. [ Read More ]

September 1999

SPEAKER Manuel B. Villar claims in his propaganda to be the champion of mass housing in this country. The way his line is cast, one would think that Villar built endless rows of cheap houses and gave them practically at cost to homeless Filipinos. [ Read More ]

DIGNITY is not conferred on a person by his riding a luxury vehicle, lalo na if he does not own it and if taxes have not even been paid on it. Dignity is not put on in the first place, as if one were waxing a dilapidated jeepney. [ Read More ]

OUR saying in a previous column that the next millennium starts at the first tick of the clock after Dec. 31, 2000, and not after Dec. 31, 1999, has raised a howl among many readers who insist that the next millennium starts after midnight of Dec. 31, 1999. [ Read More ]

THERE is a direct solution to the problem of rising costs of gasoline and other oil products used by motor vehicles. [ Read More ]

THIS is official. Filipinos who carry foreign passports or who have a foreign citizenship aside from their Philippine citizenship may formalize their dual status by applying for a Certificate of Recognition with the Bureau of Immigration. [ Read More ]

IN the spirit of bayanihan, of neighbors helping one another, we strongly suggest that instead of sending United Nations peace-keeping troops to East Timor, only ASEAN members be asked to contribute police forces to help restore order on that bloodied island. [ Read More ]

IN the spirit of bayanihan, of neighbors helping one another, we strongly suggest that instead of sending United Nations peace-keeping troops to East Timor, only ASEAN members be asked to contribute police forces to help restore order on that bloodied island. [ Read More ]

WITH due respect for the learned law professor Perfecto V. Fernandez, who has filed a complaint for inciting to sedition against President Estrada’s favorite newspaper, this observer thinks PVF is just inciting us to laughter. [ Read More ]

HERE’S somewhat bad news for Filipinos who are naturalized Americans. [ Read More ]

IF intelligence reports reaching Malacañang are any indication, businessman Lucio Co is one of the most fortunate operators today. Although he has landed in the Palace list of suspected big-time smugglers; he has been the beneficiary of the largesse of the administration – whether President Estrada is aware of it or not. [ Read More ]

SOME time back, President Estrada asked his intelligence boys to submit a consolidated list of big-time operators engaged in technical smuggling, presumably in preparation for a no-nonsense crackdown on economic saboteurs. [ Read More ]

GOOD news for some Filipino Americans who want to legally remain Filipinos, validly hold on to their Philippine passports, freely go to the homeland not as aliens but as returning residents, and buy real estate. [ Read More ]

August 1999

ALL you Filipinos holding dual citizenship may now come out of the closet. The Supreme Court has just said it’s okay. [ Read More ]

THAT column on citizenship, nationality and extradition (“Filipinos carrying US passports,” Aug. 4 Postscript) brought in interesting and very informative reactions from readers all over the globe who obviously have studied the matter. We share some of their views here. [ Read More ]

July 1999

WHATEVER the law says, logic alone will tell us that Sandiganbayan Presiding Judge Francis Garchitorena was right when he ruled against using part of the $600-million PNB escrow (pronounced “screw”) account to pay victims of the Marcos dictatorship. [ Read More ]

THE nation has heard President Estrada redefine clearly his stand and his intentions regarding the Marcoses, Danding Cojuangco, the bailout of distressed private firms, press freedom and the general state of the nation after one year of his presidency. [ Read More ]

DO the Gokongweis believe claims that their selling of The Manila Times “at the height of its credibility” was a blow to press freedom? [ Read More ]

IT is normal in peace talks for one party to check first the credentials of the other. It is pointless talking to somebody who cannot commit his side in the negotiations. [ Read More ]

POSTSCRIPT got this from a reliable source, but don’t believe it until it is officially announced: The controlling stock in a major daily that had been in trouble with Malacañang has been sold to some parties close to the Palace. [ Read More ]

THERE’S a claim that the pullout of movie ads from the Daily Inquirer is a blow to press freedom in the Philippines. I beg to disagree. [ Read More ]

IF the 9,539 complainants in the human rights abuse cases consolidated in the US District Court in Hawaii now want to be paid off and in return promise never to file similar cases against the Marcoses, that’s their own business. [ Read More ]

THE Estrada administration is getting entangled in its own confusion and inconsistencies over the $590-million account held in escrow with the Philippine National Bank. [ Read More ]

IF the 9,539 complainants in the human rights abuse cases consolidated in the US District Court in Hawaii now want to be paid off and in return promise never to file similar cases against the Marcoses, that’s their own business. [ Read More ]

HAVING co-opted the cash-strapped Estrada administration, Mrs. Imelda R. Marcos has gained the psychological upper hand in her campaign to redeem the family honor with a sweeping clearance from the government. [ Read More ]

DON’T say we didn’t alert you. The Estrada administration is quietly cooking an omnibus settlement of all the cases pending against the Marcoses. It should be unwrapped in time for a Merry Christmas for everybody involved in it. [ Read More ]

THERE was only a sorry sprinkling of teenagers who responded to the Postscript survey on the first year of the Estrada administration. We were groping for an explanation when an email from “criosdan KM” came purporting to explain it. [ Read More ]

June 1999

IT’S amazing that President Estrada preferred to cap his one year in office with his grand launching of online national bingo just days after he approved the reopening of jai-alai gambling and one of his closest advisers collected P147 million in baccarat winnings at his favorite casino. [ Read More ]

IF Postscript readers had their way, President Estrada should step down immediately. This is clear from the updated tally of responses to the ongoing Postscript opinion survey on the first year of the Estrada administration. [ Read More ]

JOIN the legions responding to Postscript’s poll on President Estrada’s first year in office. Send now your one-liner answers to the twin questions: [ Read More ]

WITH President Estrada about to complete one year in office, we’re asking readers to answer with simple one-liners these two simple questions: [ Read More ]

ON days when your brain goes sluggish, you might drive up to the railroad crossing and ponder: Do you Stop, Look and Listen or do you stop and drink gin first? On the steel arch over the intersection, the brand name Ginebra San Miguel looms bigger than the usual traffic warning. [ Read More ]

NOT content with their recent series of price increases that sucked in P59.7 million in additional earnings per day, the Big Three are again poised to jack up shortly the price of their oil products. [ Read More ]

BEIJING is sailing into troubled waters by engaging us in a battle of maps over Scarborough shoal and other disputed islets scattered over the South China Sea. [ Read More ]

IF you failed to read yesterday’s Sundry Strokes of Star columnist Rosalinda L. Orosa titled “Merill Lynch, listen to a most harrowing ordeal,” drop this column and please look for Baby Orosa’s piece first. [ Read More ]

SOME readers asked us why the head of our last Postscript said, “When caught in traffic violation, cite Article V” when there was nothing in the column about such an article. [ Read More ]

LOCAL Government Undersecretary Narciso “Jun” Santiago would do well to stop pleading that he had nothing to do with the exposés of his senator-wife Miriam linking his superior Secretary Ronaldo Puno to some allegedly anomalous deals. [ Read More ]

HOW can we win the dispute with China over its fishermen poaching in Philippine waters when we cannot even get our maps right? [ Read More ]

THE papers say that our President and the First Lady are abroad, so we have this self-imposed ceasefire on the political front. [ Read More ]

THERE is a dangerous drift in the thinking of President Estrada manifested in his ongoing review of the death sentence on rapist-killer Pablito Andan, whose execution by lethal injection last May 28 had been put off. [ Read More ]

May 1999

THE exclusive distributor here of Bridgestone tires has given its side on consumer complaints aired through Postscript about the bursting of the sidewall of its tires and the sale of Bridgestone tires without the usual plastic wrapping wound around them. [ Read More ]

WE let out a lusty cheer the other day over a startling story that our Navy finally sank one of those Chinese vessels poaching in our waters off the Scarborough shoal west of Zambales. [ Read More ]

WE just relearned a basic, yet unerring, lesson on humanity — and on how newspapers can relate to their readers in a more meaningful way. [ Read More ]

LISTEN to this gem of a story that we have rewritten a little from its Internet original. You might want to share it, in turn, with your friends: [ Read More ]

WHAT you’ve probably heard – that there’s a fire sale of US visas in Manila – is not true. [ Read More ]

THE leave granted the feuding police top brass should provide a breather for the battered Philippine National Police – if they would really be on leave and keep off official chores and stop making statements on each other. [ Read More ]

PRESIDENT Estrada will become on Tuesday the witting ninong of the scions of two powerful families in the Chinese community – those of John Gokongwei and Jimmy Tang — who will be united in marriage. [ Read More ]

IT’S useless putting together a rehabilitation program for Philippine Airlines or pumping in more millions if the plans do not include cutting back the generous traffic rights farmed out by the past administration to foreign competitors of the flag carrier. [ Read More ]

POOR Lucio Tan has to dig deeper into his pocket and produce $200 million more to keep at bay creditors of Philippine Airlines circling above the distressed flag carrier. [ Read More ]

IF Nissan executives know what’s good for their business, they would just give Standard chief editor Jullie Yap Daza another Sentra of comparable condition to replace her defective car that has been causing her untold misery. (Note the progressive tense or the continuing sense of “has been causing….”) [ Read More ]

IT is wrong for us to just agree to an American court’s assuming jurisdiction over persons and properties beyond the pale of US laws. [ Read More ]

WE don’t have to see the autopsy report to conclude that NBI Director Santiago Toledo was killed by stress. [ Read More ]

GETTING all the 24 numbers in a bingo card for a full shutout may seem a dim prospect, but businessman Dante Tan says that if at least 800,000 bets or playing cards are running in one bingo game, at least one player is sure to bag the P1-million jackpot. [ Read More ]

March 1999

THAT can of soft drink, or milk or fruit juice might just kill you. Read on. [ Read More ]

THE summer school break is usually the time when parents send their kids to take lessons in music, painting, voice, swimming, taekoando and similar activities that cannot be taken with much concentration during the regular school year. [ Read More ]

INCOME tax time is again upon us, its nauseating presence groping us like the sweaty hands of a humid summer day. [ Read More ]

ONE problem of former Sweepstakes chairman Manuel Morato is that he sometimes talks too much. [ Read More ]

WITHOUT meaning to spoil your Sunday, let me pass on some suggestions on how to prepare for the doomsday scenario that some pessimists have painted on the arrival of the next millennium. [ Read More ]

WHY should the victims of atrocities during the Marcos regime be required again to present themselves and prove individually the validity of their claim for damages? Why, haven’t they won their case? [ Read More ]

GETTING captured and tortured, shot even, is part of war. That’s what one gets when he declares war on the state, when he mounts a rebellion. [ Read More ]

UNDER normal conditions, the Supreme Court’s final decision ordering the Marcos estate to pay its accumulated P23.5 billion tax debt should be welcome news for the government. [ Read More ]

IF you’re smart enough to play Lego and adept enough to wield a screwdriver, you can assemble your own personal computer at home and save thousands of pesos. [ Read More ]

NOT the entire $150 million reported as settlement for the 9,539 Marcos torture victims suing in America will go to them. [ Read More ]

February 1999

We offered the wheel to the American husband of a balikbayan friend so he could feel the road on this his first visit to Manila. [ Read More ]

THIRTEEN years ago today, the Filipino people rejoiced with the good news that the tottering dictator has fallen, finally, and fled to where he could no longer do us harm. [ Read More ]

A FREE press is a valuable recourse of a president struggling to work around a cordon sanitaire. A fawning press is as bad as, if not worse than, a chorus of sycophants singing hosannas to a leader’s alleged virtues. [ Read More ]

THE libel suit that President Estrada threatened to file against the Manila Times might as well be a class suit in reverse. It is actually aimed at the press in general. [ Read More ]

INSTEAD of harassing small wage-earners, President Estrada should first zero in on his fellow officials who are required by law to file regularly their sworn Statement of Assets and Liabilities. [ Read More ]

SOMEBODY high up in government must be thinking that having fooled many people many times, he can now fool all the people all the time. [ Read More ]

FOR you lovers who adore life and music, and won’t mind sitting for a free concert, there is an ecumenical Valentine’s Day concert at 7 p.m. today at the Bahay ng Alumni on the UP Diliman campus. It will be all about love and life, and people. [ Read More ]

IT seems that Sen. Gregorio “Gringo” Honasan has not outgrown his combat complex and terroristic tendencies. [ Read More ]

MERCEDES Benz should jump into action with the public complaint of Malacañang that the No. 1 car conveying the President of the Republic keeps breaking down so that they had to replace it with a second-hand BMW! [ Read More ]

THE feeding frenzy is over, we hope. The thirst for blood has been quenched, we hope. [ Read More ]

IF the Marcoses know what’s good for them, they better keep quiet and stay low-key, while their friend President Estrada works out a compromise for their illegal wealth cases. [ Read More ]

IT seems President Estrada is not only the spokesman of the Marcoses but also of the United States on defense matters. [ Read More ]

January 1999

A LESSON that the Marcoses may want to learn on a quiet Sunday is the value of silence. [ Read More ]

PRESIDENT Estrada hit it right when he said that henceforth peace negotiations with the leaders of the rebel National Democratic Front would be held in the country. We hope he will stick to this significant decision. [ Read More ]

BEFORE we start, we say clearly that we are for the death penalty for certain heinous crimes. [ Read More ]

OUR pulse quickened when we saw Gen. Fidel V. Ramos carrying some folders at the last National Security Council meeting focusing on Chinese incursions into Philippines-claimed islets in the Spratlys. [ Read More ]

OUR “Postscript” remarks last Tuesday urging the government to reject any bid to compromise the Marcos illegal wealth cases and grant global immunity to the heirs of the dictator must have hit a raw nerve. [ Read More ]

DON’T compromise with the Marcoses! If that wealth amassed under martial rule is really theirs, at hindi nakaw, why are Imelda Marcos and her brood willing to settle for just a fourth of the loot? [ Read More ]

IT is hard to believe the claim of President Estrada that his favorite son Joseph Victor Ejercito is actually not interested in a sectoral congressional seat. [ Read More ]

THE document that Parañaque congressman Roy Golez rushed to the Supreme Court to show the “sense” of Congress affirming the death penalty law is nothing but a sheaf of papers scrawled with more than a hundred signatures. [ Read More ]

PRESIDENTIAL son Joseph Victor Ejercito does not need a seat in the House of Representatives, he does not need to wade into the crocodile farm, to add to his well-deserved laurels earned through his own merits. [ Read More ]

ALL Filipinos who still care for their country must vehemently oppose the impending dumping on their lap of 37 additional sectoral congressmen of dubious legitimacy. [ Read More ]

IT’S appalling that even God in Heaven has been dragged into the debate over the stay of the execution of child-rapist Leo Echegaray. [ Read More ]

WITH due respect to the Supreme Court, which has ordered a stay in the execution yesterday of child rapist Leo Echegaray, we think the tribunal was clumsily trying to project a humane side to its severely tarnished image. [ Read More ]

HAPPY New Year! If you have not thrown out the garbage of the old year, if you have not cleared the cobwebs of your old self, do so before you do anything else. It is difficult, if not impossible, to move on with that extra burden. [ Read More ]

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