BEHIND THE LINES: Fil-Am PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 07 September 2014 16:24

BY BOB JALDON

 

LOS ANGELES, CA. — Sorry for the long absence. Tell you what. Most Fil-Ams in California frown on the proposition to amend the constitution, especially the political provisions therein that can make the sitting president eligible for re-election. While the present charter gives the president a six-year term without re-election, members of the ruling Liberal Party are hell-bent on re-fixing the term limits of elected officials, including the president’s. People here say that six years are enough for a good — or bad president.

Two previous presidents tried to amend the constitution to prolong their stay in office, but failed. It was President Aquino’s mother who engineered the present constitution through a 50-man Constitutional Commission that replaced the Marcos-tailored constitution. Any effort to amend the basic law of the land, with or without the imprimatur of the president, will involve either the calling of a Constitutional Convention or convening Congress into a constituent assembly.

With two years left in PNoy’s term, is there enough time to elect the delegates to the Con-Con or form Congress into a Con-Ass? It seems that under the present dispensation, even the impossible is possible. They got rid of Renato Corona as chief justice of the Supreme Court. They charged three opposition stalwarts — two of them eager to become president — with plunder and jailed them, some say without due process. In so doing, PNoy got rid of his potential political thorns. Would his great mother and hero father have liked what he did, considering that Ferdinand E. Marcos employed the same strategy of jailing his political detractors, media critics and student activists before declaring Martial Law?

Right now, PNoy has a difficult time finding his anointed one to continue his “straight path” government.  Sec. Mar Roxas is a hard sell as he is seen to be a “peninsulare”. House Speaker Belmonte is also a “peninsulare” and is too old to make a run. So, who among the LP or its allied parties can make a bid for the presidency in 2016 and win?

* * * *

In case you don’t know it yet, we have a Filipino-American playing in the NBA this coming season. The Los Angeles Lakers announced last week that the show-time franchise has signed Jordan Clarkson to a rookie contract. The 6-foot-five point guard was picked by the Washington Wizards during draft day but was traded to the Lakers for cash considerations.

Clarkson joined the draft during his junior year at Missouri and figured prominently in the NBA summer league, scoring 15.8 points per game and rebounding 5.0 per game. He made 8-of-19 three points in five games.

In his first game against the Toronto Raptors, Clarkson fired 21 points on 7-of-15 makes. Lakers General Manager Mitch Kupchack said the Lakers organization picked him for his athleticism, defensive skill and ability to attack the basket. His size also fits his position. Kobe Bryant would like that kind of a point guard.

Two other Fil-Ams who made it to the NBA were Ray Townsend (1978) and Ricardo Brown (1979) who played for the Philippine team and the grand-slamming San Miguel franchise.

Clarkson’s mother hails from Angeles City, Pampanga, but he was born in the U.S. and grew up in Texas.