BEHIND THE LINES: He’s back! PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 27 July 2014 14:19



That’s been the screaming headlines in sports last week. Everybody — from boys, girls, young adults to retirees — in Northeast Ohio has gone maniacal about the announcement of “The King”, Lebron James, that he was going “back to the future” and play for the Cleveland Cavaliers after spending four years in South Beach, Florida that earned him four straight trips to the NBA finals and two rings to boot. Before his Miami stint, he logged in seven years with the Cavs, winning more than 60 games twice and reaching the finals once. From red and yellow jersey with the No. 23 on his broad back to No. 6 with the Heat, James’ return to Cleveland will surely make Quicken Loans Arena a place of destination again when the 2014-15 NBA season reels off on Oct.29.

Ha, the Heat fans, because of James, will drift toward the Cavaliers (again?). It’s not about the franchise. It’s all about Lebron James! He’s got Kyrie Irving, the No. 1 pick in 2011, playing point guard, Dion Walters, last year’s No. 1 pick forward Anthony Bennett and this year’s No. 1 selection Andrew Wiggins described by many scribes as the future Kobe Bryant. (I’m not writing anything yet about my Los Angeles Lakers until they get rid of their excess baggage and secure a big man to hold the middle and replace aging Steve Nash. They recently acquired Carlos Boozer, but that’s enough to give Kobe a sixth ring.) The Cavs are trying to get Kevin Love from the Minnesota Timberwolves. James needs good back-up if he wants a third ring. He had Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh in Miami.

Sport Illustrated wrote: “The chalk is in the air.”

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Four days from today, President Aquino will deliver his State-of-the-Nation Address. He’ll spell out what his administration did the last four years and what it intends to do the last remaining two years. He will expurgate some senseless lines in his speech put together by his mouthpieces, state in detail his (successful?) economic advancement program, enumerate how much he spent on infrastructure to generate employment and livelihood (only in Metro-Manila) and how many alleged crooks he has temporarily jailed or will send to prison under his “straight path” policy versus corruption. But he won’t tell the nation what he will do to his budget secretary and other filthy members of his cabinet.

Yes, he will herald the deal the government entered into with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) that promises to bring about peace in Mindanao. It’s not total peace because we still have to deal (again) with the disgruntled Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) whose leader Nur Misuari is in hiding.

I have lived in Zamboanga since I was born. I grew up in peaceful, tranquil environment with good neighbors. In those days, you could sleep at Plaza Pershing without getting mugged or killed. You could lurk along Cawa-Cawa boulevard without getting shot by a drive-by hoodlum. We enjoyed peace. The police had only night sticks while walking the streets and making sure that our beds were safe by day and night. We savored peace until the dawn of Martial rule.

As a young police and city hall reporter, after my four-year stint in Malacanang with the defunct Department of Public Information, I’ve seen the ugliest and bloodiest of scenes — people’s arms and limbs blown off from grenade and bomb blasts in movie-houses and bazaars. Weeping relatives of innocent civilians, including women and children, killed violently is not a wonderful sight, Pancho. From 1972, violence in Zamboanga has not ceased, mostly drug and smuggling related. The rest are crimes of passion and double-cross. What do we do? What do we do? The politicians and the police can’t be blamed for the despicable peace and order conditions in Zamboanga, “el orgullo de Mindanao.”

Caesar proclaimed: “Apes don’t kill apes.” Men will always kill men. That’s the bottom line. So, if you think the peace agreement with MILF will bring hope for lasting peace in Mindanao, in particular, and the country, in general, think again.