"What this Country needs is not a change OF men but a change IN men" March 1980

Friday, September 30, 2005

BCDA Tax Amnesty, EO 464, Northrail Transcript of Interview - 9/30/2005


GORDON: Today I am happy to tell you that there will be a tax amnesty as proposed for all manufacturers in the zone like Clark and Poro Point but at the same time we are also giving the provisions for a previous export processing zone law that would allow Subic, Clark and other special economic zones like Poro Point to have the same tax incentives. So Clark is not just getting the 5 percent, they will also get all the incentives given by the special economic zone act of 1995.

INETRVIEWER: What is the total investment for Clark that we want to protect?

GORDON: P19 billion. This by the way will include also sa mga tourism facilities nila. Yung mga investment doon sa tourism but Clark will no longer be a duty-free area. But we are going to prepare legislation para magkaroon d’yan ng Duty Free Philippines.

INTERVIEWER: So the action sir is that for the years that there was no collection, the amnesty will cover that?

GORDON: Yes. Piso lang ang ibabayad nila at wala silang fines, penalties and interest. Walang liability whatsoever.

For background, noong araw sa pagmamadali sa pagpapaalis sa mga Amerikano ay gumawa kami ng bill at nag-lobby kami sa Senado para sa Subic. Malinaw doon sa Subic na port plus special economic zone at malinaw yun ibinigay na tax incentives na 5 percent.

Sa kagustuhan ni President Ramos at that time na matulungan din ang Clark at Poro Point ay ibinigay niyang lahat ang incentives na ibinibigay sa Subic, pati free port at 5 percent. Yun pala wala naman pala iyon sa batas. Nakalagay lang doon ay powers and functions of PEZA at that time doon sa Bataan. Nang madisakubre ng Korte Suprema iyan, natural isasa-isangtabi iyan. They would strike down the law so kami sa Committee on Revision of Laws and Constitutional Amendments immediately went into high gear.

Nag-file sila ng resolution sa House. Ang gusto nila sa joint resolution ay ang I-restore. Hindi naman pwede I-restore ‘yun dahil wala na yung mga senador na gumawa n’yan. So the intention cannot be established and you cannot ask the present House and the present Senate to say that this is the original intention of the law when it was filed. So minarapat namin na mag-file ng bill and today I am very happy with the help of Senator Enrile that we are finally able to get a bill the would proclaim a tax amnesty for all these manufacturers and tourism facilities and those who invested in Clark and Poro Point. This will also hasten the development of Clark, Subic and Poro Point as well as even Baguio because of John Hay when it restores the confidence of the investors and I can say that the Philippines can right itself when it makes a mistake.

ON EO 464

INTERVIEWER: Malacanang said yesterday that the Senate is not actually investigating in aide of legislation but actually in aid of destabilization?

GORDON: The responsible sectors in this country must see to it that this beautiful system called checks and balances on separation of powers are there to protect the people not to protect any individual, any president, senator or any businessman but there to allow for active discussion by the President and the Senate to allow for active interrogation by the Senate, of the Executive and allow for, as the case today, movement forward.

That is why I thought that EO was a mistake. I even dare say that as a declaration to whoever advised the President to issue that statement, to have himself shot because the President comes from the Senate and they are trying to send a wrong message that grilling here is very difficult. I went through the same grilling when I was a cabinet minister. I went here and I went to the House. Some of them sometimes knew the matter, some did not know the matter, some were abusive some were not. But if you handle yourself correctly, if you are candid and sincere the Senate is not going to give you a hard time. Ang problema lang talaga doon kay Gonzales ay talagang humarap sya dito and the Constitution is clear if he doesn’t ask the Presidents consent, he can go and he did and when he did he wasn’t candid, sincere and direct and that is why he got into trouble.

INTERVIEWER: You have suggested sir that to avert the possible constitutional crisis of this natural some steps be taken, how do you intend…?

GORDON: The Supreme Court of the United States handled more cases like this because of their almost 250 years history, where the Executive and the Legislature clash on matters like “executive privilege” or “separation of powers” and “check and balances”, where they have always suggested that the Supreme Court will not interfere with co-equal branches of government and will allow certain leverage when it comes to matters of national security or confidentiality that affect the security of the State.

To a certain extent, that is what the EO says but on the other hand the Supreme Court of both countries and we have to look at them because our law is expanding after that as well as our Constitution, provides clearly that the Senate and the lower house – the Congress, can have this interaction with the President. And only if the President so states in writing, she or he decides that this is a matter of confidentiality, can ask for an executive session. But otherwise cannot prevent government officials from having appearances. Of course, they will have different opinions. Now it is precisely where the Supreme Court of the US and I think this is where both house must create compromises, create active discussion so that rules of engagement can properly be undertaken without being antagonistic. Otherwise, you are all aware that if this happens, the government is not going to move further.

So I propose, that avenues be open for dialogue, for discussion, for compromise so that we will understand each other.

Sometimes I suspect that they are trying to lay the predicate for an abolition of the Lower House or the Upper House because some people are advocating Unicameralism. We must be careful to watch the tea leaves because most of the time people are creating scenarios to lay the predicate for a bigger agenda. It could be an agenda for Unicameralism. It could be an agenda to cover up, on the part of the President. It could be an agenda on the part of the Senate to try and extend the impeachment. This particular case, media’s role is very important. Hindi pagsabungin lamang ang dalawa kundi ipalabas ang tunay na katotohanan upang maintindihan ng publiko kung ang nangyayari.

We must ask ourselves whether this is good for the country and I think in so far as I am concerned, we have a good democracy, we have a good system. All it needs is a little fine tuning.

INTERVIEWER: Sec. Bunye said that Senate President Drilon is actually part of destabilization plot. Do you believe that the senate presidency is being used to carry out this destabilization plot against the administration?

GORDON: I have known the Senate President for a long time. We were in the same law office together but I know that he is a responsible individual. I don’t think he will take part actively in any destabilization effort. He has pronounced his views but I don’t think he will do so. On the other hand I have known also Sec Bunye, we were in the same school together in Ateneo. He is a responsible man but he is also an actor for the President. He recites lines and scripts so that at times this would create major responses that we do not have to create - an atmosphere of responsible confrontation. He should never resort to personalities. I think we should try to stick with issues, that is the best way to inform the public of what is required under the circumstances.

INTERVIEWER: Going back to your proposal to hold a dialogue first, is it better to hold a dialogue first before the Senate President goes to the Supreme Court to rule on the constitutionality of the EO?

GORDON: There is a case, the court will even try to say, to tell both contending parties “Wala nabang compromise ito? Mag-usap kayo” I think this should be done. I strongly propose that the President take the initiative to invite the Senate and the Senate also host one event like them in a neutral area so that they can all get together. These people have worked together before.

INTERVIEWER: Do you expect the President to go out of her way to meet and hold dialogue with Drilon?

GORDON: I hope so. We are trying to unite this country. We are a wounded nation. We cannot afford all this cat-fight and dog-fight.


GORDON: I think that yesterday’s meeting was very productive even if the Cabinet members did not show up. The state university of this country is saying illegal itong mga contract and there was nobody to defend the administration. It also shows that we maybe having the wrong train built. Hindi ko na tinitingnan yung gastos ng train. Ang hinahanap ko palagi is “would this train be good to the country?” The expense will always be there. There are always attempts to make people have a kickback and unless you have proof of that, wait until you have proof but in the meantime focus on is this – is the correct train and railroad being built and put in? Dapat na pag-usapan ito because they are building a train for passenger but not for cargo. It is a passenger train and you cannot make money on passengers. The money is in cargo and passenger traffic and the fact is that the train is a lost leader.

We are building the wrong train, the wrong railroad. Pag nagawa iyan and then we will have another mistake like Piatco, nuclear plant, etc. Everybody is focused on the overprice but not on the essence or the purpose of the investment. Kapag nagawa iyan at hindi naitigil, malaking bukol na naman sa atin iyan na babayaran ng taumbayan.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

NORTHRAIL PROJECT: Govt constructs wrong train

Senator Richard Gordon today deplored the unconstitutionality of the awarding of the contract without public bidding and lack of sense of planning in the construction of the North Luzon Railways Corporation (Northrail) project.

Gordon said the project violates RA 9184, the Government Procurement Reform Act of 2002, when it granted without competitive bidding the contract for the rehabilitation of the 32-kilometer rail line, stretching from Caloocan City to Bulacan, to the China National Machinery and Equipment Corp (CNMEC).

He also criticized the huge amount of money being put in the project for creating a commuter train instead of a new transport system that will address the needs of developing economic zones that will expand outside of Manila, specifically trailing to Central and Northern Luzon.

“They are building the wrong trains,” Gordon exclaimed adding that “the trains are merely for commuters and not for cargos and freight which should be the case as it is intended to support the 10-point agenda of the government which includes the development of Clark and Subic into transshipment and logistic hubs. We should be finding ways to decongest Manila and disperse industries to Central and Northern Luzon,” emphasized Gordon. He added that the project is constructing a “railroad of yesterday and not of tomorrow.”

“It is not fulfilling an economic need. The passenger demand in this transport need is questionable in the first place,” noted Gordon.

“During the turn of the century, we had the tram system, it evolved to the bus system. After WW2, we had the jeepneys, then the tricycle, but now we have further downgraded to the tricykad (tricycle-lakad). What has happened to us?” said Gordon.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

EO 464 Timing suspicious

Senator Richard Gordon today pronounced that the recent Executive Order issued by Malacañang setting rules concerning Cabinet secretaries and other government officials invited in congressional investigations is suspicious and gives the impression that the President is hiding something from the public.

Gordon noted that the release of Executive Order #464 came during the time when three investigations are simultaneously conducted in the Upper House.

“They issued the EO when we are presently conducting hearings on the controversial Venable contract, Garcillano wiretapping, and North Railway issues. What are we supposed to think of this timing?” asked Gordon.

In a tv interview, Gordon said that the public can not be blamed if they perceive the issuance of the EO as a means to prevent government officials from attending and giving information in congressional hearings.

“This might give the impression that the President is hiding something,” Gordon said adding, “is Malacañang trying to conceal information from us to protect anybody?”

Gordon added that the directive violates the constitution and the supposed check and balance between the various branches of the government, emphasizing the oversight functions of the legislative to prevent abuses in the executive. He said the EO is in effect overriding and amending the constitution which should not be the case.

When asked on actions to be taken on government officials invited to the congressional hearings who will not attend because of the EO, Gordon said, “if those summoned to attend the hearings next week will not appear and not follow the Constitution, they will be held in contempt and I am confident that the Supreme Court will uphold us,” said Gordon

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

SE Asian Red Cross leaders meet on disaster, disease response

MANILA (AFP): Red Cross leaders from 10 Southeast Asian nations met in Manila on Tuesday to discuss ways of increasing inter-regional cooperation to better cope with natural disasters and epidemics.

Philippine National Red Cross chairman Richard Gordon said the outbreak of avian flu in the region underlined the urgent need for the region to "come up with a specific plan of action.

"We need to clarify the priorities in our public health services and prepare programs that clearly address issues like HIV/AIDS, emerging diseases and potential pandemics," Gordon said in a statement.

The former tourism secretary and senator said: "Natural disasters are changing in scale and intensity like hurricanes Katrina and Rita that hit the U.S. Gulf Coast and last year's tsunami.

"Now avian flu is rearing its ugly head as a potential global public health disaster."

Gordon emphasized that there is a need "to advance on a roadmap that will bring us to a faster, more friendly, flexible and forward-looking Red Cross Movement."

He said the forum will serve as a preparation for the various leaders who will participate in the Red Cross World General assembly to be held in Seoul, in November.

He said delegates had already taken steps toward the creation of a regional disaster management training center, which will ultimately serve as the platform for training, logistics coordination and exchange of best practices and lessons learnedfrom past disaster management experiences in Southeast Asia.

The leaders of Red Cross and Red Crescent organizations from Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, Timor East and the Philippines together with their respective teams are attending the three-day conference. (*)

Thursday, September 22, 2005

National Security Adviser Norberto Gonzales at Senate Blue Ribbon

Testifying before the Senate blue ribbon committee yesterday, National Security Adviser Norberto Gonzales grudgingly admitted he signed the contract on his own authority with Venable LLP on July 25, and nothing more.

In the next three hours, Gonzales evaded senators' simple questions like who paid the firm's monthly retainer of $75,000, who were the private individuals who donated money to pay the firm and who referred him to the Venable executives.

"I think he's a fall guy," said Senator Richard Gordon. "He's covering up for certain people. I salute him for his loyalty," he said but he said he wished he would show the same loyalty to the Filipino people.

TJ Burgonio

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Barangay Elections, SBMA Chair and Smuggling Transcript of Interview - 9/20/2005


GORDON: Good afternoon. We are happy to announce that the Bicameral Conference Committee on Revision of Laws and Constitutional Amendments and Local Government of both houses have today approved a bicameral conference report on the extension of terms of Barangay officials of the barangays as well as the Sangguniang Kabataan up to next election that has been scheduled for last Monday of October 2007.

INTERVIEWER: Magkano ang budget sir?

GORDON: The budget for holding a barangay election is P2.8 billion. However, we kept this open ended so that the Commission on Elections can submit a proper budget at the proper time. It is incumbent upon the executive to respect the decision of the legislature that when an election has been properly announced and besides it is also the desire of both houses that elections are regularized and in pursuit of that, it is the feeling of both houses that election should not be postponed by reason of lack of budget.

Automatically, all of the terms of the current elected barangay and SK officials will be extended up to October 7 until their successors are elected. The other thing is the term of all Barangay Captains and Sangguniang barangay ex-officio members shall likewise be extended.

INTERVIEWER: Sa House version is minimum of P1 billion, Senate version is minimum of P1.1 Billion?

GORDON: The P1.1 billion came from the election that were held in 2002. Both houses had no appropriation measure for this and we left it to the executive and Comelec to make the necessary proposal as to the kind of logistics they will need by way of moneys that will be required for the elections. I hope that they can also computerize the election by that time.


INTERVIEWER: Sir ano ang comment ninyo sa appointment ni Phil Salonga as SBMA chairman?

GORDON: I have not confirmed that. I have not been told. I’ve heard about that not only today but even previously. Two weeks ago, it has been prodded that he will be the chairman of Subic Bay. As far as I know about Phil, I knew him when I was still a teenager and he was a navy officer. He was the President of Philseco (in Subic town in Zambales) which was a shipyard before in Subic Bay even when the Americans were there. Hopefully he got the maturity and certainly the will to put Subic together again. But I have nothing to do with the appointment of Phil Salonga.


GORDON: Just to let you know, I am not intervening in Subic. I, however, will come out on a serialized, not an expose but a serialized dissemination on what is happening and what the country is losing not just in Subic but in other Ecozones as well.

Smuggling in this country has gone out of proportions and I think it is time that we focus on this because nobody seems to be addressing it. Nawawalan tayo ng pera, nahihirapan ang bayan at naghihirap tayong lalo tapos sa atin pa ipinapasa ang buwis because wala tayong focus sa paghuli ng mga smugglers na iyan.

INTERVIEWER: Doon sa kaso ng Port Irene?

GORDON: As far as I am concerned, whether it be in port Irene or in Cebu, it is the same. In the first place, right hand drive vehicles are not allowed to be imported in this country. That is the law and to me, parang ang mga huwes at mga abogado ng gobyerno ay nagmo-moro-moro because hindi yata ina-argue mabuti yung fact that there is a law RA 8505 that says, you can not import right-hand drive vehicles. It is very clear and there is no distinction. The customs zone of Subic is not part of the argument.

INTERVIEWER: Sir, you don’t think any difference or distinction in the example cited by Sen. Enrile about a car being converted in Hongkong and a car being converted in Port Irene? Even if it was converted elsewhere, is it still a converted car and should not be allowed in the country?

GORDON: Our laws restrict only the right-hand drive vehicles. So kung kinonvert sa Hongkong iyon at pumasok dito, technically hindi na right-hand drive ‘yun. Kung dumating yun kotse dito (Subic) at dito kinonvert that is still right-hand drive. The courts were always looking at different arguments and they were citing DOJ opinions and they say it’s okay even if it is wrong. You can allow a right-hand drive here because Subic is a special economic Freeport zone that allows transshipment. Meaning 100% of the cars that comes in must leave the country too. The trouble is it’s not leaving the country and in fact only 128 cars have left the country doon sa 3 years lang na importation ng almost 90,000 cars. I will repeat this, the low side for tax collection is set at PhP100,000 per car and its total is P13 Billion and the high side is P45 Billion. One classroom costs P45,000. With that money alone, you can complete all the schools in this country. That is what we are losing. Ang tatamaan naman dito ay hindi yung bumili ng kotse kundi ang mga importers.

For example, for a Toyota Hi-lux which was valued at $860, ang tax na binayad lang ay P59,000. Ang dapat bayaran, according to Customs is P1.2 million so the government lost P1,224,000, napakalaki ng disparities.

So every time we allow this, smugglers to get away with it, tayong mga mamamayan ang nahihirapan.

INTERVIEWER: Sino ba talaga ang protector ng smuggling doon…?

GORDON: Like I pointed out the other day, if this is happening, there are powerful people behind this and this has been happening for the last 7 years. Talagang grabe ang smuggling d’yan at hindi mangyayari iyan kung hindi pinapayagan ng mga matataas sa BOC, BIR at matataas sa Gobyerno.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Haydee Yorac - A Great Loss for our Country

The death of Haydee Yorac is a great loss for our Country especially at a time when our people need leaders and public servants who can be good examples of uncompromising values and moral character.

She will be remembered and missed for her commitment and dedication to seeking justice and upholding democracy.

Her death is a great loss to the legal profession, to government and to the Filipino people.

We condole with those she leaves behind.

Friday, September 09, 2005

We need Transformational Leadership

We need in this country what James Macgregor Burns has called "transformational leadership" -- leadership that responds to fundamental needs and hopes by transcending, innovating and reconstructing the system it works in, and raises the ability of the people to help themselves.

We must distinguish this from "transactional leadership", which is mainly engaged in bargaining, accomodating, manipulating and compromising within the prevailing system.

For much of our history, we have had an abundance of transactional leaders and precious few transformational leaders. And we cannot transact our way through the 21st century.

Transactional leadership is what we know hereabouts as "cash-sunduan leadership" -- which infects our politics and government like cancer.

22 November 1997

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

BCDA Law, Subic Leadership and Impeachment Interview Transcript -9/7/2005


INTERVIEWER: Sir, update sa hearing on the Bases Conversion & Development Authority.

GORDON: We will now have a technical working group na magtatrabaho para maibalik kaagad ‘yung incentives ng mga investors. At ang nakikita namin nina Sen Enrile ay dapat gumawa ng bill na magkakaroon ng tax amnesty dahil medyo may kalabuan nga naman yung nangyari. Ang Subic lang talaga ang Freeport eh binigyan ang Clark so may babayaran silang tax doon dapat. Tapos yung special economic zone status sa Subic ay ibinigay din sa Clark pero hindi malinaw kung ano ‘yun. Nakalagay yun PD 66 na ginawa yung Mariveles noong araw, kaya kailangan ay malinawan iyan at gumawa na lang ng “catch-all law” na hopefully magiging amnesty, magkakaroon ng tax amnesty para doon sa mga investors na pumasok d’yan para hindi na sila magbayad ng mga penalties at past due taxes. Pero they will be liable sa duties.

INTERVIEWER: Pero kailangan bang i-redefine yung existing law, kung ano ang free port ano ang special economic zone…?

GORDON: Malinaw yung Freeport ang problema ay yung pagkakabigay ng nakaraang presidente nang insentibo na hindi dapat ibigay doon sa isa (special economic zones).

INTERVIEWER: Sir, when did the Supreme Court allow the tax incentives?

GORDON: The motion for reconsideration was denied (John Hay Peoples Alternative Coalition et al vs. Lim et al & Coconut Oil Refiners Inc et al vs Torres et al on the grant of incentives to investors in the special economic zones created under RA 7227) just about a couple of weeks ago. Kaya minamadali namin itong batas na ito, pati si Sen. Recto ay naglagay ng resolusyon nakita niya na hindi uubra ‘yun resolution kaya ang kailangan ay batas. Madali akong mag-file ng bill at tumawag na kaagad ako ng hearing at tatapusin ko ito during the recess para sa ganoon ay maipasok ito sa Sept.19 on second reading para makabawi na ‘yun mga investors at hindi na umalis sa atin.

INTERVIEWER: What is the deadline for coming up with the new law to at least remedy the alarm caused to investors who might now be thinking of pulling out of the country?

GORDON: Well, I am more concerned not with the bank taxes dahil ‘yun maka-quantify mo ‘yon. I am more concerned with what reputation we will create -- that we proclaim na merong tax incentives and later on find out na magiging unconstitutional nanaman, magiging invalid. So, doon ako concerned, baka hindi tayo puntahan ng investors. Nais kong ipaalam sa lahat na ang hirap mag-compete ngayon sa China dahil malaki ang kanilang merkado (market). Kailangan madaling magnegosyo sa ating bayan at hindi pabago-bago ang desisyon natin.

INTERVIEWER:Amnesty na ba ito sir?

GORDON: Mukhang ganoon ang susubukan namin, amnesty dahil pagkakamali ng gobyerno iyan. Hindi naman nila (investors) kasalanan—ang may kasalanan dito ay ‘yung nag-issue nito.


INTERVIEWER: Sir ano ang comment ninyo sa mga nangyayari sa Subic?

GORDON: Unang-una ang ini-recommend ko ay si Inky Reyes. Pangalawa, wala pa namang appointment si Armand Arreza. Napaka- unfair, he is still working with the American Insurance Group (AIG). If Antonio will remain, I have no problems with that. Hindi ko naman pinapaalis si Licuanan. Hindi ko naman pinapaalis si Antonio. Pero kung papalitan sila, ang gusto ko sana naman ay ‘yung nagsakripisyo, nagvolunteer at tumaya na d’yan sa Subic. May degree na siya na mataas, abogado siya, may Wharton degree siya at alam niya kung ano talaga ang vision ng Subic at kung ano talaga ang malasakit na kailangan sa Subic.

INTERVIEWER: What can you say about the two separate positions in SBMA – Chairman and Administrator?

GORDON: Magulo kaya hindi dapat dalawang posisyon. Katulad noong panahon ko, ang position ng chairman at administrator ay isa lang talaga ang humahawak. Iyon ang nasa batas at sa tingin ko hindi dapat na hatiin yun.


INTERVIWER: Comment sir kahapon sa impeachment.

GORDON: Nakita naman natin na medyo kapos sa suporta ng tao ang kanilang minimithi. Ang pakiusap ko lang ay pagtuunan natin ng pansin ang mas malalaking problemang papasok sa ating bayan. (1) ‘Yang nangyari sa gulf state ay tataas ang halaga ng langis. (2) Mayroon pa tayong E-VAT na papasok. Mahihirapan ang tayo. (3) Kailangan natin ng mga hanapbuhay dito sa ating bansa. Kung ang aatupagin natin ay hidwaan gayung pwede namang i-file yun kaso sa Supreme Court kung may kaso sila, kung pumalpak sa impeachment o di kaya naman ay makuha sa isang Truth Commission kung ‘yun ang gusto nila.

Mas magandang mag-concentrate muna tayo dito sa mga pangangailangan ng bayan sapagkat napagiwanan na nga tayo at lalo pa tayong mapag-iiwanan. Mahihirapan ang taumbayan kung walang malinaw na pamumuno ang ating presidente, Kongreso at lahat ng kawani ng gobyerno. So it is important that we focus on the problem at hand.

INTERVIEWER: Sir, saang forum pa pwedeng dalhin ng mga taong naghahanap pa rin ng sagot sa mga akusasyon kay PGMA?

GORDON: Well, una may Truth Commission na pwede d’yan. Katulad halimbawa ng nangyari kay Pres. Clinton, lumakas pa ang ekonomiya ng America inspite of the impeachment. If they have cases to file against the President for criminal offenses, again you have impeachment next year kung gusto nila. So ang pakiusap ko lang, ‘yung national interest ang palaging dapat na isipin natin. Alamin natin kung ano ang makakabuti sa pangkalahatan kung tayo ay magko-concentrate sa investment. Katulad ng nangyari dito sa Clark, problema na naman iyan kung mag-alis ang mga taga-Clark ay marami na naman ang walang trabaho. Kaya pinipilit namin na ma-approve ‘yung bill kahit na recess. Ilalabas na rin namin yung Tourism Bill at yung Senate Bill 3-2-1 para magkaroon ng hanapbuhay doon sa Central at Northern Luzon. Kailangan nating i-promote ang bansa para pumasok ang hanapbuhay. Ang kailangan natin ngayon ay trabaho at hanapbuhay.

INTERVIEWER: Sir ano ang reaksyon ninyo sa signature campaign to oust GMA?

GORDON: Well, they can do everything that they want. Pero kung nakita mo ‘yung ipinakitang suporta kahapon medyo madi-disappoint ka. Ang akala ko malaki pero hindi naman umabot sa ganoon. Noong panahon ni Erap talagang malaki. Sa tingin ko hindi kasi malinaw sa tao kung ano ang pinag-aawayan. It is really an elites’ fight. It is really a fight for power.

INTERVIEWER:Not fight for truth?

GORDON: Well truth is always the casualty in politics. Pero sa akin ang mahalaga ay kabuhayan. I mean, all my life, noong pinaalis ang Amerikano sa Subic nataranta talaga kami, sinabayan pa ng Pinatubo. Pero nang mag-focus kami sa kabuhayan ay umangat kami. Siguro kung magfo-fucos tayo sa kabuhayan instead of politics ay aangat tayo.

Friday, September 02, 2005

Gordon orders Philippine National Red Cross aid to Hurricane Katrina victims

The Philippine National Red Cross is sending a US$25,000 donation for the victims of Hurricane Katrina which slammed into America’s Gulf Coast several days ago causing overwhelming losses in lives and property.

“It is the mission of the Red Cross to alleviate human suffering and we are answering the call to help our brethren who have been devastatingly affected by the disaster,” said Senator Richard Gordon who is the chairman of the PNRC. Gordon on Friday ordered the release of the donation to the American Red Cross. He also offered to send medical and post trauma critical stress debriefing teams if requested or required by the American Red Cross.

He continued, “we commiserate with the victims, their families, and with all the American people as they deal with the grave effects of the hurricane and as they endeavor to rebuild the communities that have been affected.”

Gordon said that in the past, the American Red Cross has sent disaster aid and relief missions to the Philippines to support local efforts during earthquakes, typhoons, floods, volcanic eruptions and other calamities.

Of the PNRC effort for Hurricane Katrina, he said that “we are now rising to the call to respond to the needs of the most vulnerable and hope that the power of humanity will overcome the destruction caused by the calamity.”

This is the second time the PNRC has become a donor nation, the first being during the tsunami that hit South and Southeast Asia in December of last year.

In addition to the initial donation, the PNRC is launching a fund drive for Hurricane Katrina victims. Donations may be sent to the Office of the Chairman of the PNRC.