MANILA, Philippines – Presidential candidate Richard Gordon answered a variety of issues at a presidential forum organized by the Foreign Correspondents Association of the Philippines (FOCAP) on Monday.
|Gordon in Action
|When asked what priority measures will Gordon order in his first 100 days, he said he will:
- Address the whole government and know that there’s a new sheriff in town; maximizing revenues, minimizing expenses, 24-hour accessible government
- Immediately address the energy shortage
- Intensify tourism (i.e. improve Intramuros)
- Intensify high school vocational education for possible employment after secondary school
- Ask for a review of the automated electoral system
When asked what 3 programs he will cut down once seated as President, Gordon noted the following:
- Abolish Presidential Commission on Good Governance (PCGG)
- Take out all task forces created under President Gloria Arroyo
- Shut down government agencies that are not doing their jobs (i.e. National Food Authority); shut down non-performing assets (i.e. economic zones)
The second part of the forum tasked the presidential candidates to answer a categorical "yes" or "no" to a series of questions from the FOCAP panel.
They were given 2 minutes each to clarify their answers if needed.
Gordon answered “No” to the following issues:
Re- imposing death penalty. “I do not favor the re-imposition of the death penalty principally because of the fact that our police forces are lawful in terms of their investigative capabilities. If we put in the death penalty there will be more injustice because this is a society prone to injustice primarily because we always try to put the blame but we never solve the problem in terms of trying to get real solutions to create a balance in the society.”
Rehabilitating Bataan Nuclear Power Plant. “I do not favor the re-opening of the nuclear plant principally because it is old, decrepit, and I think it is better that we try to utilize it all the way as a university or as a tourism area that we can actually utilize for profit. However, I do not close the door on nuclear power in our country. I think it is important that we reduce our dependency on nuclear power.”
Gordon has been consistent with his stand on the rehabilitation of BNPP and nuclear power. Among the candidates, he was the only one who voted “yes” to a possible use of nuclear power as a source of power in the country.
Strongly push for anti-political dynasty bill. “I think it’s a flaw of the entire culture. The culture breeds this, the parties fail us, the parties don’t bet the people that joined their parties, the parties are owned by rich people in this country."
He added: "We have to amend the constitution; the constitution encourages the parties but doesn’t really make demands from the parties. I think we should have longer term limits and I think we should make sure that we put in the right people, not on the basis of their names but by people who have earned the privilege of service in their country.”
Gordon currently has 3 relatives in various executive positions: James Gordon Jr (brother) is currently city of mayor of Olongapo, Cynthia Cajudo (first cousin) is seated as vice-mayor in Olongapo, and Anne Marie Gordon (sister-in-law) is vice-governor of Zambales.
Fellow presidential aspirant and councilor JC delos Reyes, is Gordon’s nephew. (Read: Gordon defends political dynasties)
Free condoms and contraceptives using government funds. “I agree that a good information campaign is needed but what is more needed is that we use our resources for education, for training of the population to produce a quality population. I think it is important to emphasize that to maximize our resources and improve on our human resources. Effective governance means you have to upgrade the quality of your population and making sure that they are able to do the training and be able to discern whether they need a condom or not. If they’re poor on education, they cannot discern.”
Re-open investigation on the 2004 election controversy. "If I’m elected, I’ll let the body take a look at this [election automation] process not thatprocess—that’s done. I’d rather concentrate on what I have to do; there are a lot of problems in this country that have to be solved."
He added: "I’m sick and tired of people bothering with Mr. Marcos, bothering with Mr. Estrada, and all the problems that attend to Cory Aquino and I think we should put closure to that, move forward, concentrate, focus, get things done, and anybody’s who’s going to be corrupt, kick his butt, and make sure we do the job right."
"We have to make sure that we focus on good governance. You can’t be looking backwards and stumbling forwards, that’s the problem. Once it’s close, we’ll keep it closed. Let’s move forward and get the job done." Report by Leilani Chavez, abs-cbnNEWS.com.