MANILA, Philippines – Former Senator Richard 'Dick' Gordon weighed in on the use of election paraphernalia in the "Bagito o Beterano? The DZMM Halalan 2013 Forum" held on Saturday.
Gordon, who is running for senator, was asked by a Twitter user if he can still campaign without using ads or any campaign paraphernalia.
Gordon replied that he "likes" the idea of not having any ads, primarily because it cuts the spending costs of the candidate.
He said that without the ads, candidates will have to rely on their skills and knowledge.
“Dalhin niyo ang mga kandidato sa [probinsya]. Sasabihin ng Comelec, ‘Lahat ng kandidato bukas sa Nueva Ecija tayo, doon kayo haharap sa tao, magtatanong ang tao at malalaman ang kakayahan niya at matutong mag-isip ang tao. Lipat tayo sa Pampanga, ganoon din,’” Gordon said in the forum held at the University of the East.
“Makikita kung sino ang may kakayahan. Makikita natin kung anong kaya gawin ng kandidato at hindi tayo mabobola ng mga pasayaw-sayaw at kung anu-ano pa,” he added.
At the earlier part of the forum, Gordon said a candidate’s educational background and skills should be prioritized over name recall and money.
“Dapat talaga ‘yung kakayahan niya, ‘yung kanyang napagaralan, ‘yung kanyang wisdom through the years,” he said.
Gordon said the Senate requires an experienced public servant who knows how to address various issues that the country is facing.
“Dapat alam mo na ang apat na sulok ng Pilipinas, ang hamon ng panahon at alam mo ang mga sagot dito,” said Gordon.
The former senator also said that while money plays a big role in campaigning, candidates should be careful how they spend their campaign money.
“Natatakot ako na kung pera ang pinapaglabanan natin, baka maka-capture na ang Senado sapagkat magbibigay ng magbibigay ang mga malalaking tao lalo na ang mga nangunguna sa survey. Ang mangyayari diyan, talagang pwede kunin ang pag-iisip ng sino man, they will owe to money and to those who give money. Wala nang paninindigan na tunay para umangat ang mamamayang Pilipino,” he said.
Gordon, who is also the chairman of the Philippine Red Cross (PRC), is running for senator under the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA).