Malilong: He called the president a bum

WHO does Lebron James think he is? A Cebuano block-time commentator on the AM band?

The Cleveland Cavaliers star just called Donald Trump a bum. The U.S. president is, of course, no stranger to name calling. He recently referred to Kim Jong-un as the “Little Rocket Man.” The latter angrily responded by calling Trump a “mentally deranged U.S. dotard.” The North Korean must have taken his cue from the rabidly partisan Filipinos who alternately call each other “yellowtards” and “Dutertards.”

Still, I was not prepared for Lebron’s use of the equivalent of vagrant to describe his president. For the sake of accuracy, let me quote what he said on Twitter: “U bum @Stepehen Curry30 already said he ain’t going. So therefore ain’t no invite. Going to White House was a great honor until you showed up!”

Lebron was responding to a Trump tweet that said: “Going to the White House is considered a great honor for a championship team. Stephen Curry is hesitating, therefore invitation is withdrawn!”

Curry led the Golden State team to this year’s NBA championship. Champion teams are traditionally invited to visit the White House but Curry – and Kevin Durant – had indicated that they were not going. This must have pissed off Trump into withdrawing an invitation even before it could even be extended.

Lebron’s response as well as the comments of other NBA stars who had chimed in, drew mixed reactions from the Americans. They have no quarrel, however, that the remarks, even if disrespectful, were made in the exercise of a citizen’s freedom of expression.

Comparisons have been made between Trump and our own President Duterte. Both are unconventional politicians who rode to victory on the crest of popular discontent with the establishment. And both are controversial figures who evoke strong emotions, whether for or against them.

We could learn a little from the Americans in this regard. Here, you could not seem to say anything bad about Duterte without being inundated with threats to your safety and that of your family. And to think that we copied our bill of rights from the Americans.


Team Rama has submitted its nominee for the vacancy in the city council and it was not Mike Rama. Junjun Osmeña got the nod and should receive his appointment papers from Duterte anytime soon to serve the remainder of the term of Hanz Abella.

I bumped into Rama at least twice after Hanz Abella resigned from the council to become a commissioner in the National Labor Relations Commission. In both instances, he firmly denied that he wanted to return to the council where he served for nine years. Give the others a chance, he said.

Mike also told me that he will not be running for mayor in 2019 but I think that that position is not cast in stone. It is subject to a number of factors including Duterte’s attitude towards him and the result of his election protest. If Duterte continues to accuse him of being a drug protector, Rama would most probably lie low. If he wins his protest, he is no longer eligible to seek another term.


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