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

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Asian Red Cross humanitarian drug policy

Nine National Societies of Red Cross and Red Crescent from Asia on Saturday signed a consensus aimed at promoting health-based measures to fight drug abuse and clear social stigma tagged to drug takers.

Delegates from the Red Cross and Red Crescent societies in the Philippines, China, Vietnam, Nepal, Bangladesh, Fiji, Malaysia, Sri Lanka and Thailand signed the Rome Consensus in Manila after a two-day discussion on advocating a humanitarian approach to tackle drug abuse in the region.

Richard J. Gordon, Chairman and CEO of the Philippine National Red Cross, said the Red Cross can play "a strategic role" in preventing drug abuse by mobilizing its volunteers to provide services that would improve self-worth of individuals that include counseling, youth development, livelihood and reporting of the cases in community.

"We can also advocate with the government to harmonize the policies related to drug use problems based on humanitarian values, " said Gordon, who also sits in the Senate of the Philippines.

Asian Red Cross societies pledge to advocate humanitarian drug policy
China People's Daily Online
September 29, 2007

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Neri Executive Privilege is out of place

Sen. Richard Gordon said Neri’s invoking of executive privilege was out of place and invalid: “It only holds in a question hour. There are no national security considerations, no problems on diplomatic relations with other countries. And the topic is not a state secret that is part of negotiations.”

Gordon said Cayetano “should never have allowed” Neri to invoke executive privilege.


“He (Cayetano) was wrong,” Gordon said, adding:

“What I believe is weighty in this hearing is Abalos’ bribe offer to Neri, which could mean that he made bribe offers to other people.”

Pimentel agreed: “I think Abalos [made a bribe offer] to other people aside from Neri and [Jose] de Venecia [III].”

Gordon also said the ZTE contract “should not have been suspended [as the President has done], but junked.”

“The contract is poisoned altogether; it is toxic already,” he said.


Neri faces more grilling at Senate
He can provide Arroyo’s direct link to NBN
By Dona Pazzibugan, Michael Lim Ubac, Gil C. Cabacungan Jr.
Last updated 02:15am (Mla time) 09/28/2007

CoA chief walks out of Senate hearing, but returns, is sorry

MANILA, Philippines -- Chairman Guillermo Carague of the Commission on Audit has walked out of a hearing presided by Senator Richard Gordon, who instructed the Senate security force to bring him back.

Carague acquiesced, apologized, and hugged Gordon after his return, according to a transcript of the proceedings by the committee on government corporations and public enterprises that was released to media.

Carague suddenly lost his cool while debating with Gordon over issues on good governance, according to the transcript.

The hearing was on Senate measures that would review the financial and operational performance of government-owned and -controlled corporations, government financial institutions, state-owned universities, and other similar agencies, the document showed.

Gordon and Carague were discussing how CoA could help do this, particularly on the monitoring of funds to the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, where teachers have been complaining about the non-remittance of their contributions to the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS), the transcript said.

Gordon wanted the CoA to go into ARMM to stop all the anomalies there. But Carague said it was not for CoA to do so. He said CoA’s website was “replete” with reports of anomalies, according to the document.

Gordon said CoA should go after government officials involved in these anomalies. But Carague retorted that his agency could only audit, according to the transcript.

“We now have about 10,000 people. We will need a 100,000 people if we are to initiate cases because our reports are replete with anomalies in many government agencies. You have to give us a 100,000 people, not just 10,000 people,” the CoA chief was quoted as saying.

Carague pointed out that as a management expert, he could not -- as suggested by Gordon -- hire 100,000 people. He said the government must be run by people who have integrity and honesty, and competence, the document showed.

Gordon felt that at this point, Carague was complaining and lecturing to him about the problems of government, prompting the CoA chief to leave. “I have to go now,” Carague said, according to the transcript.

But Gordon called for the Senate sergeant-at-arms to put Carague under contempt. “I don’t know why you’re hot-headed,” he said, according to the transcript.

“You are dictatorial,” Carague told Gordon, who by this time, is saying, “pahuli niyo yan [have him arrested],” according to the transcript.

Gordon thus ordered the Senate sergeant-at-arms to escort Carague back to the room, the transcript showed.

When Carague returned two minutes later, Gordon told him that he could not just leave the room without being allowed by the chairman. The senator also demanded that Carague apologize to him and the Senate as an institution, according to the transcript.

Carague then approached Gordon, who then suspended the proceedings and privately talked with the CoA chief, it said.

When Carague returned to his seat, he made a public apology and said he “respects [Gordon] and his track record as public servant,” according to the transcript.

Gordon said he was “surprised” by the walkout, but later brushed everything aside as a “misunderstanding” stemming from Carague being “overwrought with personal problems,” it said.

“I accept the apology. I have the highest respect for Mr. Carague,” the senator said, lifting the contempt order, it said.

By Veronica Uy

Last updated 06:37pm (Mla time) 09/27/2007

ZTE Hearings

I was going through the transcript of the ZTE hearings and I am glad that Sen. Dick Gordon voiced the view I expressed here that the NBN should not be a high priority in the use of government funds because there are private sector alternatives. Perhaps, China can see this too and agree to divert the money it was willing to lend us for NBN to such projects such as modernizing our public hospitals.

Here are Sen. Gordon’s views expressed during the hearing.

“With that kind of money, $329 million, Php 15 billion, is that really a priority or is it really donor driven? Nagpahiram ang China… may pera kami rito, ha? Kahit na hindi n’yo kailngan umutang na kayo para makuha natin … Saying, pinapahiram tayo eh. Mababa ang interest. Pero hindi naman kailangan ng gobyerno right away.

“Hindi n’yo ba puwedeng sabihin sa China, “O pautangin n’yo na lang kami dadalhin naming sa eskwela. Lalagyan namin ng computers yung eskwela para masanay lahat yung tao para pagdating ng araw pag dumating ang broadband madali nang magawa iyon.

“O di naman kaya pautangin n’yo kami paayos natin yung PGH. Paayos natin yung Orthopedic Hospital. Lalagyan natin ng mga regional hospitals. Di ba dapat yun ang ginagawa natin? Or is it really a priority na broadband samantalang may Smart, may Globe… Bakit hindi natin gamitin yun muna para maunahan yung pera ng gobyerno para ma-prioritize ang talagang pangangailngan ng tao? Hindi ba natin pinaguusapan iyon?”

Don’t demonize China naman
The Philstar
Friday, September 28, 2007

Monday, September 24, 2007


After taking the high road in bringing former President Joseph Estrada to trial and securing a conviction against him, the nation will be retreating to international ridicule and disrespect by cravenly trying to appease him with a presidential pardon - if certain officials and politicians have their way.

The judicial process regarding President Estrada is not yet over. Although a guilty verdict has been handed down, he has the right to appeal it before the Sandiganbayan and the Supreme Court. As he continues to insist up to now, he is not guilty and the verdict against him was unfair and unjust.

For the Administration - or certain officials of the Administration - to be offering at this time a presidential pardon is wrongheaded and contrary to law. It took our justice system six years and considerable treasure to try and resolve this case against President Estrada. Now, for the sake of dubious political points, some would waive it all away.

This is not the intent or spirit of the law, nor the meaning of justice being tempered with mercy. The verdict must first be applied before any idea of tempering it should be entertained. Above all, there must be some sense of contrition or remorse on the part of the offender before he can be considered eligible for pardon.

In the history of the world, we find numerous examples of the honorable course for a nation to follow in handling the celebrated cases of former leaders and statesmen. That course is for the nation to be firm and fair, and to pay decent regard not only for the opinion of its own people but that of the international community as well.

This is the course which Peru is now following in seeking justice against its former president Alberto Fujimori, after seven years of trying to repatriate him. This is the course which Korea followed in trying and convicting several of its former presidents. This is also the course the Philippines has followed in bringing President Estrada to trial. We risk the scorn of other nations if we just throw away the vindication won at such great cost and effort.

Friday, September 21, 2007


Administration Sen. Richard Gordon said the government did not need to take out a loan to finance an NBN project that the country does not need.

"It should be scrapped. Palpak talaga (It's really bungled). It is not need-driven but supply-driven. We do not need that project. What we need is to spend on education, health," Gordon said, adding: "We should ask China to help us where we need it."

Transportation Secretary Leandro Mendoza had warned of "repercussions" in the country's relations with China if the deal would not push through.

But Gordon dismissed Mendoza's argument.

"China will understand that. China has other deals with us. Now if we ban their products, sampal sa kanila iyon (It's a slap on them)," he said.

Scrap NBN deal, senators urge
By Dona Pazzibugan
Last updated 10:05pm (Mla time) 09/21/2007


Philippine National Red Cross (PNRC) Chairman and Senator Richard Gordon discusses with President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo the potential of Mindanao agricultural products as he leads the unloading of several tons of fruits from Davao aboard C130 at Villamor Airbase. Also in photo are North Cotabato Gov. Jesus Sacdalan, North Cotabato Vice Gov. Manny Pinol, DTI Secretary Peter Favila, DILG Sec. Ricardo Puno and DND Sec. Gilbert Teodoro.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007


Philippine National Red Cross (PNRC) chairman and Senator Richard Gordon join hands with Ms. Hani Sumndad, Asia America Initiative (AAI) program coordinator (3rd from left) Usec Nabil Tan, Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (4th left), Sulu Governor Abdusakur Tan (3rd from right) and representatives from SM Supermarket, Shopwise and Nescafe to fulfill his promise to connect Sulu to the markets of Metro Manila. Some 5,000 kilos of lanzones, mangosteen, durian and other assorted products from Sulu were picked up from Sulu airport via C-130.

Statement on President Joseph Estrada's Conviction

This is both a sad and happy day for our country and our people. Sad because one of the most popular presidents we Filipinos have ever known has been convicted on charges of plunder. We can only sympathize and imagine how distressing this must be to President Joseph Estrada, his family and his supporters.

But this is also a happy day for us because the verdict affirms that the rule of law reigns over our land. The Sandiganbayan reached its landmark decision after an exhaustive trial that went on for over six years and in spite of threats of turmoil. We can all take pride in the fact that our justice system declared before the nation and the world that all are subject to the rule of law in our country. No one, not even the highest official of the land, is above it.

Those who differ with the verdict have recourse to remedies, including motions for reconsideration and appeals to our Supreme Court. They should turn to them with dispatch.

For the rest of us, we can heave a sigh of relief. Closure has been found in this unprecedented and historic case. The nation can now move on.


Senator Richard Gordon asked the Filipino people to stop talking about Mindanao as a zone of war and start investing in peace and development in Southern Philippines. Gordon, in his visit to Kidapawan City, North Cotabato during the 93rd Kidapawan Foundation Anniversary and Hinugyaw Festival, said that Mindanao has so many products to offer consumers and all that is needed is to connect these products to domestic and international markets. Recently, Gordon convinced several large scale supermarketsin Metro Manila to begin selling fruits sourced from Basilan and Sulu.


Emilio Aguinaldo V (right), presented to Senator Richard Gordon (center) in commemorating the 111th Anniversary of the Battle of Imus the “Sable de Mando” used by Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo during the 1896 Philippine Revolution. Gordon’s great grandfather Col. Jose Tagle captured the sword from General Aguirre and presented it to Gen Aguinaldo after the first victory of Filipino revolutionary force against the Spanish colonial forces. Gordon was joined at the commemoration by former Prime Minister Cesar Virata (2nd right) Imus Mayor Emmanuel Maliksi and Vice Mayor Armando Ilano.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Filipinos must also celebrate our victories

Saying that the Filipino people must celebrate their victories instead of just their defeats, Sen. Richard J. Gordon led government officials and civic leaders yesterday (September 3) in commemorating the 111th anniversary of the Battle of Imus during the Philippine Revolution of 1896.

The senator called the event as “the defining battle of the Revolution” because it was the first victory of Filipino revolutionary forces and it rallied all of Cavite and other provinces to arms against the Spanish colonial government.

“But regrettably, not too many people – especially our young people – know about Imus,” he said. “They know more about Bataan and Corregidor, [which were] places of defeat and surrender.”

Senator Gordon was joined at the commemoration by former Prime Minister Cesar Virata (a grandson of Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo), Cavite governor Ayong Maliksi, and thousands of civic leaders and Cavitenos.

Probing the national tendency to dwell on defeat, the senator quoted historian and diplomat Leon Maria Guerrero who wrote: “We (Filipinos) have a national fondness for tragedy…We may applaud and honor the resolute fighters who serve their country with the strength of their arms…but we reserve our highest homage and deepest love for the Christ-like victims [and] their tragic failures….”

As a result, the Filipino official calendar is filled with holidays dedicated to agonizing setbacks like Bataan and Corregidor and the martyred and fallen. “But we forget to reserve a place for those who have stood tall and triumphant at the barricades,” Gordon said, “starting with the great chief Lapu-lapu who opened our historic encounter with the West with a historic and defiant ‘No.’”

The Battle of Imus had a “transformational impact” on the Katipunan uprising that had been prematurely triggered by the betrayal of its plans. “Until the storied battle [in Imus], the revolution had been mainly a series of setbacks and retreats,” Gordon said. After three days of fighting in Imus, from September 1 to 3, 1896, however, Filipino forces led by General Aguinaldo and Imus leader Col. Jose Tagle defeated the best of Spanish forces led by General Aguirre.

The Filipino revolutionaries captured 70 Remington rifles, assorted battle equipment, and General Aguirre’s saber. “To both the Filipino and Spanish forces, the rebellion had become a revolution,” Gordon said.

But the historic battle did not enter the national memory like Balintawak, Pinaglabanan, Bataan and Corregidor. One big reason why, according to the senator, is that in the early days of the American occupation, “it was forbidden even to fly the Filipino flag.” The Americans did not want President Aguinaldo and other revolutionary leaders “to become living heroes to our people.”

After the recovery of national independence in 1946, Filipinos nonetheless continued to “accept the selective memory of our colonizers,” according to Gordon. They accepted “the self-serving histories of those whose chief deed was to compromise the revolution.”

Saying that Filipinos need to recover “the unbroken, continuous life of our nation” and recapture the seamless whole, Senator Gordon said that we should mark and celebrate days like the battles of Imus and Mactan in this day and age.

“Whatever the reason, we are wrong to select only our defeats and tragedies for homage, forgetting our great moments of triumph and vindication,” he said. “We are wrong to forget key chapters in our national story out of politeness to others, for they form one seamless thread of our national saga and journey. They affirm the continuity and glory of our race.”

Monday, September 03, 2007

With Tausog Children

Senator Richard J. Gordon, chairman of the Philippine National Red Cross (PNRC), joins the Tausog school children of Mohammad Tulawie Elementary School pledging their loyalty to the Philippine flag (Panunumpa sa Watawat) following his visit in Sulu last Wednesday. Gordon also urged the national government to invest in peace and trust in Sulu and act on delivery of social services, building more school and shore up support for the teachers in the region.

Jolo, Sulu Hospital Visit

Senator Richard J. Gordon, chairman of the Philippine National Red Cross (PNRC) set up full-fledged blood bank products and supplies to address the medical needs of all the displaced families in Sulu and Basilan following his visit to the two islands last week. Gordon also said that a 4-wheel-drive ambulance was sent yesterday via C-130 to expand the presence of PNRC and assist even more people in the region.