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Home Op-Ed Columns Opinion on Page One Ban foreign players? Pork not toxic per se

Ban foreign players? Pork not toxic per se

 

RENE SAGUISAG

DEPUTY Speaker Mikee Romero is reported to have urged the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) and National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) to ban aliens from their teams. Why not from the PBA, too? And from our national teams? Including coaches?

Representative Mikee is one of 22 deputies, a downgraded honor seemingly very difficult to escape in the Bigger House. How much is the unprecedented multiple arrangement costing us?

No legal violation here
In a proposed resolution filed last Monday, the 1 Pacman party-list representative urged the Bigger House to ban schools from getting aliens for sports events. “. . . [N]o sense of affinity anymore between players and spectators and fans, as the audience is merely watching foreign imports dominate collegiate and university teams. Unfortunately, this does not reflect well on us as a people,” he lamented.

I think some of us have affinity with Stephen Curry and the Warriors. So? I’ll always be a Yankee fan and my late darling wife became a dual citizen, naturalized as a member of the Red Sox Nation (also a Celtics fan having spent two years in Boston College for her social work Master’s). Too bad we cannot do better in a society where mediocrity can go very far indeed.


“It is imperative that the legislature enact the necessary measures that would stop and prohibit all collegiate and university leagues from recruiting, acquiring and using non-Filipino citizens as players,” Romero boomed. He intoned that he is seeking the ban “for the good of Filipino players and for the growth of Philippine sports.”

No legal violation I can see, nor any compelling thwarted policy consideration to vindicate and uphold in banning aliens from our teams. In any competition, cream rises to the top. Mediocrity should not be cherished as a standard. “En el reino de ciegos, el tuerto es el rey,” Rizal quoted, if my memory is true, of my Rizal High days. Indeed, in the kingdom of the blind, the one-eyed is king.

What we need is a clear explanation why a billionaire is a party-list representative of a group named after another multi-tasking billionaire. We know the Supreme Court rulings on the point but its interpretation does nothing to mitigate the image that the law truly represents the biases of the ruling class. Representative Mikee’s being in Congress does nothing to validate that those less favored in life should be more favored in law, originally said by Harvard Law’s Thomas Reed Powell and popularized here by our beloved ultra-honest Ramon Magsaysay.

More important issues
There are other far more important issues. For instance — “ninja cops bequeathed by Aquino govt,” bannered our paper last Monday. The new rulers cannot forever blame PNoy. Of what they inherited, the bad should have been erased and the good built upon by now. We might as well blame and blast Doña Josefa Edralin Marcos for selling drugs to studes in Arellano High School, or even Rizal for trying hashish.

The same Times issue last Monday mentioned “[a] fight to the death,” which Sen. Ping Lacson vowed to continue on his crusade against pork, which I have never seen as toxic per se, either. Pork continues in the US. We had pork in our time in the Senate (1987 to 1992). We just identified projects, with not a single singkong duling passing through our office. Indeed, why should the executive have all the fun — and funds? It is not as if we have Congress with all members having horns and in the executive branch, all halos galore. Elect better lawmakers is the solution.

What is toxic is getting upset because certain foreigners read the Universal Declaration on Human Rights accurately and do not misread it as the Parochial Declaration. Imagine yourself as Ninoy Aquino (whatever Tsikboy Ninoy might have been, he was a transformed person from Sept. 22, 1972 to Aug. 21, 1983, and having memorably said “The Filipino is worth dying for,” martyrized and put himself where his mouth was).

UN probers should be welcomed
Prez Jimmy Carter, State Asec Patt Derian, Rep. Steve Solarz (of the Jewish race the present rulers here continue to vilify with the thoughtless Nazi salute), and other pakialameros aired concern over our political detainees, including Ninoy. Human rights are not checked at borders. We worked for and signed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Today, as in the time of Marcos, many brown-nosing sipsip read same as the Parochial Declaration of Human Rights.

United Nations (UN) probers should be welcomed to probe our simon pure cops who may add, “what else can we do for you?” What are we hiding anyway?

Not hiding is Sen. Bong Go who continues to be an effective Palace go-fer and a well-publicized de facto Social Welfare Secretary, always with some cameraman around of course. I appreciate the legend about FPJ giving his donations under somebody else’s name. (Who donated humongous sums to candidate Digong sub rosa and are now reaping investment returns?)

Classy FPJ had a passion for anonymity and didn’t advertise his generosity (like certain of Digong’s donors, as scofflaws, hiding their campaign contributions, violating our election laws, and sharing oddly FPJ’s obsession with anonymity).

Today, Sen. Bong Go continues to have his pixes advertise his generosity. And Mayor Isko brags about turning down a bribe offer of P5 million a day to look the other way instead of cleaning up Divisoria. Yorme’s duty is to denounce and prosecute, not brag but condone criminality.

Yorme, it will be recalled, said he had been offered that rejected bribe. To me, that was so trapo-ish. Kumita na po ‘yan — such exercise of bragging rights is Jurassic. It seems to me what he should have done was to entrap the briber manqué. Or at the least denounce him or her by name and see what happens.

For Yorme, it ain’t braggin’ if he can back it up. As of today, it is only his self-serving anecdote we have. Kwentong barbero? Who is he protecting? I discern a case of dereliction of duty. Article 208 of the Revised Penal Code punishes any public officer “who, in dereliction of the duties of his office, shall maliciously refrain from instituting prosecution for the punishment of violators of the law, or shall tolerate the commission of the offense.”

On the presidency, it is said in the barber shop that the first denial is the first affirmation, laced with gimmickry. Moist eyes? For sure in the case certain weeping poor fire victims in the Adamson area. Many dislocated studes need our help.

Kindly go there and give till it hurts to the cash-strapped Technical University of the Philippines and Philippine Normal University studes. Preferably in the style of FPJ.

I write this after coming home from ballroom dancexercising at Resorts World the other night. So many women gambling at midnight, when they should be at home as nanays and lolas, as in the days that used to be. Our values continue to go south. Sana they can help the fire victims. Without publicity. Preferably.

This advice goes for Sen. Bong Go and Yorme Isko, whose arguable rookie mistakes are quite minor, from where I sit. I wish them well, for our people’s sake.

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