Sunday, February 15, 2004

Pop Views

You can group the reactions my wife and I got when we began announcing that our fourth kid has been conceived into the following categories:

ONE: The Concerned Grandparents

Blank stares with large scripts on their foreheads that state:
"We hope you can handle a fourth kid."

TWO: Business associates going for their first TEN MILLION.

"What? You're over-populating the world!"

THREE: Our Focolare friends

"Que bono. That is a gift from God!"

Yes, my wife is about three months pregnant and I can certainly claim that that kid is destined for greatness because he had weathered all natural obstacles to his conception when his legal age was still zero. Indeed, nowhere in my life has my views on population control been appropriately challenged but now. The concerns are all valid. Just imagine the tons of diapers I would have to buy on top of what I've already bought for the first three. What about the milk, the clothes and the educatonal plans? A minimum wage earner would have gone insane.

But everything has to answer to the bottomline: What is it in life that really matters?

Is it the economic difficulty that goes with raising a family? Is it the statistics on population growth and the diminishing world resources? Or is it simply that God, in all his infinite wisdom, has decided to assign us to mentor another one of his angels and experience the joys and pains of fatherhood for the fourth time? After all, as Einstein put it, God doesn't play dice with the universe.

I look at my three kids Juancho, Hans and Tressa, my wife Ces and I imagine how my fourth kid will look like. And I manage a smile with the thought, we are blessed.

Thursday, February 12, 2004


Why is it that all of a sudden everybody in the mainstream media is writing about the Hubert Webb case? Mind you, they are all pro-Hubert. Is a media plan in place to condition the minds of the public to accept the eventual acquittal of Hubert? Who is funding it? And why does it seem like the columnists are already aware of the acquittal when the matter has not been officially decided yet by the Supreme Court?

A year ago, I've written the observation that Mario Ongkiko, one of the best lawyers in this country, would probably win the appeal for Hubert Webb. As a lawyer of the accused, all that Atty. Ongkiko had to establish was "reasonable doubt". In other words, even if Jessica Alfaro, the state witness of the crime proved to be very credible, if an independent evaluation of the evidence did not yield moral certainty of guilt, then the accused should be acquitted. Moral certainty? It probably means that the judge should be able to sleep at night after handing down the decision. If he can't, then the accused must walk. In the case of Hubert, the tons of evidence that Atty. Ongkiko presented showing that Hubert was abroad and which curiously the presiding judge just brushed aside as a product of former Senator Freddie Webb's influence, may have established "reasonable doubt." As the cliche goes, "It's better for ten guilty men to be set free than for a single innocent man to be jailed.'

Yet, the decision of the Supreme Court and the media plan for Hubert are two different things. In a normal world, the Supreme Court should rule whichever way it wants to rule and the media should write want they want to write. The public can form their opinions on their own. The public is not even supposed to know the decision until it's promulgated by the Court. But with the strange circumstance that it is happening now where big time mediamen are obviously preparing us for a Hubert Webb upset, it gives me the feeling of uneasiness, a feeling that something isn't right, a feeling that a conspiracy has been hatched upon the public by men who should be just going about their normal businesses.

Then again, I'm just reading the situation through Sun Tzu's eyes. Really, that book has made me very suspicious of people's actions. Plus, I know by first hand experience that there is nothing random about how mainstream media choose their topics and their angles. Some intelligence funds can point them to the right direction. But we will find out if I'm wrong once that decision is handed down soon.



We got the following email from Gary Ramirez:

Hi Marvin, Read your post regarding Hubert. I am Gary, a cousin of
Hubert. The columnists who wrote about him has from the very start believed that
he is innocent. We are talking about Solita Monsod, Teddy Benigno and Mon
Tulfo. These people have been ridiculed and crucified dating back to the mid 90s.
Just like everyone in the family, I have followed Huberts case and believe me that there are overwhelming evidences that prove his innocence.

My challenge to All non-believers are:

1) Aside from Alfaro and the maid, Show us a person who can say that he
or she has seen Hubert Webb anywhere in the Philippines from March 2001 to
Oct. 2002.(The crime was committed on the latter part of June 2001)
2) Anyone who can prove that evidence submitted by the defense are fake
or counterfeit. These are:
a) FBI investigation Certification
b) INS records
c) State Department Note Verbale, signed by Secretary of State
Warren Christopher and another one signed by Madeleine Albright. ( Tolentino
did not want the testimony of the US Embassy but wanted Albright to go to
her court instead. How absurd can that be.)
d) California DMV drivers license
e) United Airlines Manifest
d) ETC.
3) Prove that any of the 100+ witnesses who saw Hubert in the states
are lying.(Tolentino dismissed all the witnesses because they are
relatives,friends or acquaintances. Even an old salesman where Hubert
bought a bicycle from was dismissed. Note that his purchase was done
give or take a few hours when the crime was being committed. This man had no
connection with Hubert whatsoever. If you where in the States, will you
live or hangout out with total strangers?)

Please forgive me if I sound too emotional. Its just that Hubert has
been in jail and prison for 9 years now. It will really destroy us inside if
we do not get justice.

I would also like to assure you that It is not in the Webbs style to set aside a budget for a media campaign to condition the peoples minds.

Thanks for your time and congratulations on the coming baby.


Sunday, February 08, 2004

It's gadgets time again

I went home last Monday with a Fujitsu Lifebook P1120 on loan from a client and all of a sudden my life is changing. I'm surfing the web on this petite beauty, typing my pleadings in a coffeeshop and emailing from wherever there is a phone line or wi-fi service. This is a long way to go for a boy that learned how to type with the "pindot system" in an old reliable Olympia typewriter from my Grandfather's workstation in Mindoro. I then moved to a PC XT running on DOS and wordstar 4.0 in an apartment in Project 2 Quezon City, then to a PC running Windows 98 in an Intel celeron processor in a big firm in Makati, and just recently to a Pentium II running windows ME in Roxas District.

Of course now, I'm still a boy (my wife calls me her third son). But I am now toting around this 2.2 lb touch screen laptop (no bigger than a hard bound bestseller) with Windows XP. If you were to ask me, I was happy with wordstar 4, until the internet boom came. So I conceded that maybe windows 98 with microsoft office 98 was a good upgrade. But Windows XP? After connecting to the web for thirty minutes, my little gadget got the worm called "luvsan" which terminated the system in 60 seconds. It's a good thing google led me to the cure. For three days, I've been trying to figure out how to send email with an attachment from yahoo in 60 seconds from login to click send.

So how is this lifebook affecting me? Well, I've been very distracted. Instead of being able to write the stuff I needed to write, I'm installing programs here and there. Just a moment ago, I connected it to a toy video camera and wondering if it can help me edit my first motion picture which I plan to call "The Lord with No Rings". Tomorrow, the palm hotsynch, then the printer driver, then quicken, then photojam, then the CD ripper and mp3 converter.

A lot of work this gadget is giving me -- for a machine that is supposed to make life easier. But it doesn't really matter, I'm looking forward to watching a VCD movie with it from a porch in a restaurant in hilly Tagaytay. The ultimate thing is I can blog from a Seattle's Best coffee shop. Hopefully, it can improve the frequency and quality of my posts. I guess they don't call it the "lifebook" for nothing.