Former senator Richard ‘Dick’ Gordon
MANILA – As the May 13 election nears, the derisive label “trapos” or traditional politicians is again being linked to familiar names in politics.
One of those names is Gordon, a former mayor, senator and presidential aspirant.
Richard ‘Dick’ Gordon is again seeking a seat in the Senate in 2013, but he denies that he is a “trapo” who is corrupt and switches from one political party to another for self-interest.
“I don’t know what a ‘trapo’ is, quite frankly. Kung ‘yung traditional ay palipat-lipat ng partido, magnanakaw, at ginagamit ang tao, then I am not a ‘trapo,’” Gordon said during ANC’s “Harapan 2013” forum on Tuesday.
Gordon urged voters to be critical thinkers in the upcoming polls and not be swayed by labels and gimmicks.
“We should not categorize people, gamitin natin ang ating utak para matuto tayo na mag-critically analyze ng mga kandidato, that is your right. Don’t lose it to publicity, to one-liners na sasabihing ‘trapo’”, he said.
Gordon was senator from 2004 to 2010, and was responsible for the passage of several bills, including the Automated Election Law and the National Tourism Policy Act.
But the 67-year-old Gordon said he is again running for senator because more legislative work needs to be done.
“I return to the Senate because I love my country. The work of government is never finished,” he said.
If he is again elected to the Senate, Gordon said he will focus on efforts to create more jobs.
“Anong babalikan ko sa Senado? Tanungin natin ang gobyerno. Bakit malakas ang growth rate pero wala tayong nakukuhang negosyo? Sanay ako diyan. Sa Subic, naubos kami sa Pinatubo, naubos lahat ng trabaho. Nakakuha ako ng 200,000 trabaho. Ang Subic ngayon, 4th biggest ship building capital of the world,” the former chairman of the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) said.
Gordon also vows to investigate anomalies and push for the implementation of laws that are neglected.
“Ang dami nating batas, bakit hindi pinapairal? That’s a question that I will keep on asking,” he said.
Friends again with Erap
Gordon is running under the ticket of the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA), a coalition formed by Vice President Jejomar Binay's PDP-Laban Party and former President Joseph ‘Erap’ Estrada's Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino.
A rift between Gordon and Estrada grew when the latter kicked out Gordon as SBMA chairman when he was elected president.
But the two eventually buried the hatchet when they ran for president in 2010. Both lost to Benigno Aquino III.
“You don’t have to fight with everybody forever. What you need to do is unite the country. Erap and I have been friends for a long time even before we fought over SBMA. We were together in the movies because I was a lawyer of the movie industry. Erap and I had been friends as mayors, we both took a stand when we were being removed by Cory Aquino. And now, we are friends again,” said Gordon.
No fight vs Magsaysays
Gordon is also under the same party as Zambales Rep. Mitos Magsaysay, whose two children are running against Gordon’s brother and son in the local elections.
But Gordon said there is no “personal conflict” between his family and the Magsaysays.
“The Magsaysays, we don’t fight…it’s really a diversion of ideas. Hindi lang kami nagkakasundo sa ideas, hindi kami naga-agree sa dapat nilang ginagawa, ngayon we have to be together because there is a party that has selected us,” said Gordon.
Gordon also said he agrees with the ruling party’s campaign against corruption, but he joined UNA because he believes more needs to be accomplished in fighting corruption.
“Hindi kami yellow because we are strong and brave. Hindi kami yellow because naniniwala kami na mas maganda ang daan na kailangan para talagang may pupuntahan. We agree against corruption pero dapat hanggang sa baba. Madami namang nangongotong na pulis, hindi inaabot. Ginugulo lang ‘yung mga malalaki na dalawa, ang chief justice at president ng Pilipinas,” he said.