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

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Innovative solutions to decades-old problem of education and health care

Under his Senate Bill 2402, Gordon would have telecommunication firms taxed 20 percent of their income from text messages, with the taxes amounting to billions of pesos annually to be spent specifically on education and health.

Anticipating protests from the public, Gordon said his proposal should not raise the cost of a text message currently at P1 per text message since ideally, telecommunication firms would only part with a portion of their profits.

Gordon said his proposal did not intend to pass on any new tax to the more than 60 million mobile phone subscribers.

"While I share his frustration over the government's inefficient tax administration and collection system, a careful reading of my proposal shows that there is no tax intended to be imposed and definitely, the brunt of it would not to be passed on mobile phone subscribers," said Gordon.

"We want to move our country in the right direction, and we don't want to go back to policies that have failed us in the past as a nation and as a people. We are finding innovative solutions to decades-old problems of education and health care services," he added.

He estimated that 400 million text messages are sent each day in the country, with each text message costing P1.

Gordon for, Lacson against text tax
By Dona Pazzibugan
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 20:30:00 09/30/2008

Tribute to WW II hero Wenceslao Vinzons

Independent Senator Richard J. Gordon today called on the nation to pay due respect and honor to a great Filipino World War II hero, Wenceslao Vinzon, whose 98th birth anniversary silently passed without the public glare, but whose acts of heroism are more than enough to warrant national adulations.

Gordon made the exhortation during the 98th birth anniversary celebration of Vinzon whom he said could have been "one of the country's greatest, if not the greatest leaders" because of his sacrifices in fighting against the Japanese imperial army.

"Lest we all forget as a nation and as a people - yesterday, we paid tribute to a great man - Wenceslao Vinzon. We honor his 98th birth anniversary without the public glare," he said as he took the plenary floor during yesterday afternoon's opening of the Senate session.

Vinzon, who led an armed resistance against the Japanese in Camarines Norte as soon as they landed in December 1941, was captured and killed after refusing to submit to swear allegiance to the invading force. His entire family was also later executed.

Gordon is set to file a Senate resolution extending full support to efforts in preparation for the nationwide activities and programs for the centennial celebration Vinzon's natal anniversay.

The senator stressed the need to retrieve from the past a sense of our greatness as a people, saying that a people without pride in their past will have no hope for the future.

"If we want to move our country in the right direction, we have to look back at our rich history as a nation and as a people, for then and only then can we ably declare that we have conquered our future, he said.

He exhorted the youth to rise to the challenges set by our heroes.

"How many of our youth today will rush to fight against a foreign invader, without regard for their own lives? How many will forsake their life in defiance of the enemy over a life of safety and servitude as a Japanese collaborator? How many will forsake the lure of personal comfort and prestige to serve their people?" asked Gordon.

Vinzon was among the first Filipinos to organize the guerrilla resistance after the Japanese invasion of the Philippines in 1941. After having killed more than 3,000 of their troops, Vinzons was betrayed by a guerilla turned informant and was seized by the Japanese military together with his father on July 8, 1942.

He refused to pledge allegiance to his captors, and was brought to a garrison in Daet. It was there, on July 15, 1942, that Vinzons was bayoneted to death at the age of 31 after refusing to cooperate with the Japanese forces. Shortly thereafter, his father, wife, sister and two of his children were also executed by the Japanese.

Vinzons was UP student council president and Philippine Collegian editor-in-chief. He finished law in the UP College of Law and placed third in the bar examinations. He was elected youngest delegate to the 1935 Constitutional Convention.

Telcos will earn more if they share profit with public

Profits of telecommunications companies will shoot up if they return to the public millions of their profits in text messages, Sen. Richard Gordon said Tuesday.

"Their profits will grow stronger if they will provide funds for education and health. People will use their service more. More people will [send] text [messages]," Gordon said in an interview on ABS-CBN's morning show, "Umagang Kay Ganda."

Gordon has filed Senate Bill 2402, which proposes that 20 percent of daily text message profit of telcos in text messages be allocated to a special fund that would solve the country's problems in education and health.

The senator said telcos rake in P2 billion in text message charges a year. He said P200 million of the profit, which goes to advertisement and promotions, can solve the country's backlog in classrooms and provide more health services to the poor.

He added that the P200 million daily will help boost the country's campaign for a world-class education system.

"Let's set aside P200 million daily. Every problem we have in education and health will be solved," Gordon said.

From 'windfall profit'

In the phone interview, Gordon showed disregard for possible objections on the part of telecom companies. He said that this shouldn’t be much of a problem given the companies’ so-called “windfall profit.”

According to Gordon, telecom companies got P77B in net income. Given this, 20 percent of said amount will be very useful for education programs.

He noted that the government will only be getting funds from text charges, leaving profits from voice calls to the telecom companies.

Gordon emphasized that telecom companies may actually end up gaining more revenues with his proposal. He said that Filipinos may be more encouraged to send text messages knowing that part of it will benefit those who are poor and uneducated.

Gordon to telcos: Earn more by sharing texting profits to public
abs-cbnNEWS.com | 09/30/2008 9:15 AM

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Half of text messages income should go to schools, health care

The current budgetary gaps in education and health can be filled up by 50 centavos for every text message, Sen. Richard Gordon, chairman of the Senate committee on government corporations and public enterprises, said yesterday.

Gordon said he believes that it is possible for the government to be able to fill the gaps in health and education through the cooperation of telecommunications companies if the latter would be required to remit half of their net revenues from local text messages to the government.

He is now pushing this measure in a bill he filed at the Senate, Senate Bill No. 2402, wherein he proposed that telecommunication firms be required to allocate every single short message system (SMS) charged to their consumers to the government to address the ballooning backlogs in education and health infrastructures.

"When you think about it, R0.50 centavos of every peso you pay every time you send a text message will ensure a world-class education system that is at par with other developing nations. We have more to gain from this than to lose," Gordon said.

Though it may raise eyebrows at first, Gordon said he is confident that the measure, also known as the Health and Education Acceleration Program (HEAP) bill, would bring a lot of benefits to the whole country.

"If the public is aware of the educational and health benefits that our children will gain from the bill, I believe they would even text more often, knowing that every text message they send, part of it will be for the improvement of the country’s educational and health system," Gordon said.

The Department of Education (DepEd), in its report to the House appropriations committee, disclosed that it is facing a shortage of 12,418 classrooms; 1,744,237 school seats; 44,200,000 textbooks; 12,733 teachers and 24,709 principals.

The DepEd also noted that 21 percent of pupils are malnourished. Some 11.4 percent of pupils with ages 6-12 are iodine deficient; 37.4 percent suffer from iron deficiency anemia; 36 percent are vitamin A deficient; 67 percent of children suffer from intestinal worms; 97 percent have dental carries, 6.23 percent have hearing impairment; and 2.54 percent are visually impaired.

The measure, Gordon said, can address all these health concerns of the pupils with the money that can be generated from the estimated funds.

Gordon projected that the government can collect up to R73 billion from the HEAP program.

Half of text messages income should go to schools, health care – Gordon
Manila Buletin
Thursday 25 September 2008

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Transparency in government expropriation projects

MANILA, Philippines - Senator Richard Gordon on Tuesday proposed the posting of information relating to the disbursements for government expropriation projects, in order to avert suspicions of overpricing in government transactions.

Gordon filed Senate Bill 2634, which seeks full disclosure of all government transactions involving public interest by posting a summary of disbursements, as senators remain locked in discussions on the alleged double budget insertion for the C-5 road project.

He said the summary should be posted within the premises of the national, regional and local offices of the implementing agency, as well as within the local government unit that has jurisdiction over the expropriated property.

"Allegations of overpricing and speculation in budgetary allocations for infrastructure development abound as the 2009 General Appropriations Bill is being deliberated in Congress. Among the most controversial items are payments for the expropriation of lands for government infrastructure projects," Gordon said.

The senator said the summary of disbursements would include information on the project such as the title and names of the owners of the property being expropriated, the valuation of the property as allocated in the government budget, and all disbursements, expenditures and utilization funds for such expropriation, including right-of-way payments.

He said projects involving right of way should be published so that the public would know whether there was a fair price or an overpricing.

"I think the people deserve the kind of transparency that must be given by any government when public funds are disbursed," Gordon said.

He added: "Making available to the public these important details in government transactions and projects would be the first step in combating corruption in this sector."

The senator said many government agencies have committed countless violations of the right of Filipinos to information of public interest and concern because there is no mechanism that would allow the people to look into government projects.

He said allegations of overpricing in government transactions will be averted if government agencies can provide accessible and comprehensible information concerning the disbursement and use of public funds in expropriation proceedings.

Gordon wants transparency in disbursements for gov't expropriation projects
Amita Legaspi, GMANews.TV
09/23/2008 | 12:07 PM

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Inventory of milk products brought in from China'

MANILA, Philippines -- Senator Richard Gordon is asking the Bureau of Customs to check its records of all shipments from China to determine if Chinese milk products were brought into the country.

“The Bureau of Customs should coordinate with the Philippine Ports Authority to check which shipments came from China and what did they unload,” Gordon said in a phone interview as he expressed concern over the milk crisis China is facing.

Milk products are being recalled in China after four babies died and 6,200 others were hospitalized after drinking milk products tainted with the industrial chemical melamine, which is used in the manufacture of plastics and fertilizers. Melamine, when added to milk, gives it higher protein content.

Malaysia, Singapore and Tanzania have already banned China-made milk products.

The Department of Health has said milk brands being recalled in China are not being sold in the Philippines. Health officials have warned the public against buying unbranded milk powder sold in some markets by the kilo.

The problem: “Smuggling of Chinese products is prevalent,” Gordon said.

Thus, it is not enough for government agencies to raid outlets in Metro Manila. “If it goes out to the provinces, then people are on harm’s way,” Gordon said.

Instead of government agencies raiding stores and searching outlets for the milk brands being recalled, the Department of Trade and Industry should also require companies to declare if they have imported China-made milk products, the senator added.

Gordon seeks inventory of imports from China
By Edson C. Tandoc Jr.
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 21:02:00 09/20/2008

More transparent allocation of budget for infrastructure

MANILA, Philippines - Amid a Senate controversy over the issue of double insertions, Senator Richard Gordon on Friday filed a resolution seeking a more transparent allocation of budget for government projects in the national budget.

In Senate Resolution 650, Gordon asked the Senate finance committee to require "sufficient and accurate" description for every item included in the annual General Appropriations Act (GAA).

"We have to make reforms to thwart any confusion that may result from vague and imprecise provisions in the General Appropriations Bill, and to preserve and protect the integrity of Congress and other government institutions involved in the budget process," Gordon said.

The senator said every item in the GAA should be concisely described in such a way that they are sufficiently distinct from one another and may not be confused with any other item in the national budget.

"This is to give life to the declared state policy of making the budget oriented towards the achievement of explicit objectives and expected results for the effective, economical and efficient utilization of funds and operations of government entities," Gordon said.

He said that current debates in the Senate with regard to the alleged double entry in the budget allocation for the construction of a single road calls for more transparency in the preparation of subsequent national budgets.

"The recent events involving alleged anomalous amendments or insertions to the proposed national budget call for reforms in the manner through which items in the GAA are identified and defined," Gordon said.

Gordon stressed the need for such resolution to avoid further controversies such as the suspected double budget insertion for the construction of the C-5 road from happening again.

He added that utmost transparency, especially in issues involving public interest, is seriously needed to uphold the Senate's integrity and maintain the public's trust and confidence in the legislators and in the Senate as an institution.

Amid double entry mess, Gordon seeks more accurate description of items in nat'l budget
Amita Legaspi, GMANews.TV
09/19/2008 | 01:43 PM

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Decriminalize political libel

A SENATE committee is crafting a bill that seeks to distinguish libel against a private person and a public officer.

The substitute measure, which will amend Article 354 and 361 of the Revised Penal Code, will scrap the fine of imprisonment only for political libel, Senator Richard J. Gordon, chairman of the committee on constitutional amendments, revision of codes and laws, said yesterday.

"If a politician is attacked, presumption of malice is no longer there. Malice should now be proven by the prosecution," he told BusinessWorld.

By law, libel may be committed in writing, printing, lithography, engraving, radio,
phonograph, painting, theatrical exhibition, cinematographic exhibition or any similar means.

Senate Minority Leader Aquilino Q. Pimentel, Jr., Senators Francis Joseph G. Escudero, Manuel A. Roxas II and Jose "Jinggoy" E. Estrada filed separate bills to scrap the fine of imprisonment for libel, but Mr. Gordon’s bill distinguishes between political and private libel.

Mr. Gordon said a final hearing will be held next week to thresh out the details of the consolidated measure to "strengthen democracy and freedom of the press."

Meanwhile, the National Press Club (NPC) sought for "total decriminalization" of libel since the law is only "cramping our hands to express and write."

"There are other remedies where the accuser and the accused can settle the issue themselves. It will only be a matter of words against words — those implicated can answer back," NPC legal counsel Berteni "Toto" C. Causing said in a phone interview.

"In the environment today, libel is only used by politicians to complain about media abuse. Libel only sends wrong signals in a democratic country," he added.

In January, the Supreme Court came out with a circular instructing all judges to give preference for the imposition of monetary penalty instead of imprisonment for those who will be convicted of libel, as a result of the petition of the NPC to scrap the fine of imprisonment for journalists.

Two libel cases have recently been acted up by the high court. One case in the lower court involved some staff of broadsheet Philippine Daily Inquirer. Another case downgraded penalties for some staff of tabloid Remate. — BUA

Senate bill seeks to ‘decriminalize’ libel
BusinessWorld Online
Vol. XXII, No. 40
Friday, September 19, 2008
The Nation

Call for sobriety, uphold Senate's integrity

In a move to lessen the animosity, Gordon called on his colleagues to remain sober and to behave accordingly by upholding the Senate's integrity and not be swayed by an outburst of emotions.

"I call on my colleagues in the Senate to recover their sensibilities and sobriety. It was really just a matter of listening to each colleague and making sure that we try to continue our good relations within the Senate," Gordon said.

"The Senate is usually the senior house. It is a place where we talk about the national interest. It's actually unparliamentary to accuse one another of wrongdoing especially when what we only want to do is clarify certain questions on whether in fact there was double entry or overpayment," he added.

Minority group absent at Senate
Christina Mendez With Jose Rodel Clapano, Roel Pareño, Aurea Calica
Philstar.com - Thursday, September 18
www.philstar.com/index.php?Headlines&p=49&type=2&sec=24&aid=20080913140 - 70k

AFP, PNP must secure aid workers in Mindanao

MANILA, Philippines - Senator Richard Gordon on Thursday called on the Armed Forces and National Police to intensify security measures provided to humanitarian aid workers in Mindanao in the light of the recent abduction incident in Basilan province.

Gordon, chairman of the Philippine National Red Cross, said the endangerment of aid workers would hamper efforts to deliver the much-needed aid to affected communities in southern Philippines.

"International Humanitarian Law should be strictly adhered to by all parties in this conflict. The government should be alert against other lawless elements which are exploiting the security vacuum created by the protracted conflict with lawless MILF groups," Gordon said in a press statement.

Gordon also expressed serious concern over the apparent failure of law enforcement authorities to determine the whereabouts of two women aid workers still being held by Abu Sayyaf bandits.

Esperanza Hupida and Millet Mendoza were abducted Monday along with their three other colleagues who were earlier released unharmed and without ransom payment.

Hupida is the program director of the Nagdilaab Foundation, while Mendoza was a former staff worker at the Office of Presidential Adviser to the Peace Process (OPAPP).

Military forces on Wednesday said rescue operations have been stopped to pave the way for negotiations in seeking the latest kidnapping incident in southern Philippines.

But Gordon said he received reports that the AFP and PNP remain clueless about the hostage victims' location four days since they were abducted in Basilan.

"All efforts should be exhausted in locating and securing the freedom of these two hostages. But we should act expeditiously and decisively because, needless to say, what is at stake here is the lives of innocent aid workers," Gordon said.

Law enforcement authorities have reportedly suspended all efforts to rescue the two remaining hostages to allow a team led by Spanish priest Fr. Angel Calvo to negotiate with their abductors widely believed to be Abu Sayyaf bandits.

"The government needs all assistance and cooperation available, especially among the people. It should not however renege on its responsibility to provide the safety of all people, including those who are helping people displaced by the protracted conflict in Mindanao," Gordon said. - GMANews.TV

Senator calls on AFP, PNP to secure aid workers in Mindanao
09/18/2008 | 11:16 AM

HEAP to channel Telecom profits to build schools and improve healthcare

Manila: A lawmaker has proposed channelling profits derived by local telecom firms from mobile phone text services to construct more schools and to improve health services in the country.

In filing Senate Bill 2402, Senator Richard Gordon said it is about time that Filipinos benefit from the profits earned by local communication firms from text messaging by using telecom profits.

Gordon proposed that the state get half of the profits earned by telecom firms providing text services. This amount would then be put into a special fund.

"Using 2007 estimates, there are 54 million mobile phone subscribers in the country. Assuming that every subscriber sends out an average of ten text messages daily at a cost of 1 peso (Dh0.08) per message, the fund's 50 per cent share in daily revenues would amount to 269.79 million pesos (Dh20.9 million)," he said.

Unlike the case in other countries where text message services are considered a value-added service by telecom firms, Filipinos pay a considerable price for text messaging.

Senator seeks to tap SMS for good causes
By Gilbert Felongco, Correspondent
Published: September 16, 2008, 23:52

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Regional consultations on Charter Change

Senator Richard J. Gordon today said he will bring public consultations on proposals to revise the 1987 Constitution down to the regional and provincial level, saying that any discussion on Constitutional Change should involve the greatest number of people and the widest array of sectors.

Gordon, chairman of the Senate constitutional amendments committee, said he would like to validate mounting calls from some sectors to replace the presidential, bicameral to parliamentary or federal, unicameral system of government.

"If we amend or revise the Constitution, it should come from the people. This is so that the people will have a real sense of owning the fundamental law of the land and not feel left out or that something has dictated upon them. It is vitally important that everybody's voice is heard and no one is excluded from these discussions," he said.

Earlier this week, senators led by Gordon sat down with members of the academe and representatives of various non-government organizations at a hearing held on a proposal to shift to a federal form of government.

In the hearing, Gordon stressed that the people must be thoroughly informed and educated regarding the repercussions of opening up the Constitution for amendments, particularly on certain provisions need to be rectified, including term limits of president and other incumbent officials, among others.

"People are naturally fearful of what they don't understand and putting in changes in our Constitution will have far-reaching effects on the lives of millions of Filipinos. We have to discuss, first, if amendments are indeed desired and how do go about the process of amending the Constitution? What items do we want to change? Do our regions and provinces want to become a state? These are just some of the questions our leaders and our people have to decide on," said Gordon.

He further explained that leaders in local government as well as people's organizations and even individuals would be welcome to join in the regional consultations.

"Beyond talking about Cha-Cha, we will also be interested in learning of other problems that our people may have that stem from limitations in the Constitutions. We look forward to starting this process of consultations, we want to hear all that our people want to tell us and the direction they want to take in the future," said Gordon.

In order to ensure that enough time will be given to informing, educating, and building consensus on issues surrounding Constitutional change, Gordon is set to file a resolution calling for a Constitutional Convention that would be convened only after 2010.

"This should take the pressure off the people to decide on committing to changes in a fundamental contract between the people and the state. Besides that, we want candidates in the 2010 elections to bare their stand on constitutional change and make their stand on this issue a part of their platform. This will raise the level of public debate and make the next elections more about issues -- and less about perakter or financial girth and survey popularity," said Gordon.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Constitution framers, NGOs to join federalism hearing

The Senate constitutional amendments committee begins today (Sept. 10) hearings on the proposed joint resolution calling on Congress into a Constituent Assembly to revise the 1987 Constitution aimed at establishing a federal system of government.

Sen. Richard J. Gordon, committee chairman, said it is about time that the country begins to engage various sectors of the society in a dispassionate discussion and debate about legislative proposals to alter the Constitution.

"We just want to ventilate the issues so that there would be an enlightened citizenry without taking sides. If we amend the constitution after the elections, candidates could use issues such as federalism or other issues of the constitution as focal points in discussions among the electorate. Respective senators and congressmen, who will be voted into office, can probably sit as a constituent assembly in 2011." said Gordon.

Gordon stressed that what was needed was a sober and open discussion on the merits and demerits of the proposed shift to a federal system of government.

"We are looking forward to a sober and open discussion on the merits and demerits of the proposed shift to a federal system of government. Will federalism strengthen our unity as a nation or will it divide us even further?" he asked.

"What will be our rights ad duties under a federal system? In this process of consultation, we have to involve as many sectors as possible because this will ultimately lead to a decision that will change the lives of every Filipino," he added.

Gordon, the youngest delegate of the 1971 Constitution Convention, said he will seek out the widest audience possible, especially among the young people, for consultation and education on the proposed federal system of government. In the 1971 Concon, Gordon voted against the proposed term extension of then President Ferdinand Marcos.

Gordon said he would bring the consultations down to the provincial level to educate the people regarding the issue of revising the Constitution as well as get the pulse of the people.

Expected to attend tomorrow's hearing are renown constitutionalist, Fr. Joaquin Bernas, member of the 1986 Constitution Commission and University of the Philippine Professor Jose Abueva, who was also secretary of the 1971 Constitutional Convention.

Other non-governmental organizations also invited to participate include Counsel for Defense of Liberties (CODAL), Konrad Adenauer Stifftung, Coalition for Charter Change, Philippine Council for Islam and Democracy, Akbayan Citizens Action Party, Alternative Law Group, Sigaw ng Bayan, Save our Language through Federation (SOLFED), and Filipino Federalist Forum.

The Senate-House resolution seeks to create 12 states, namely: The State of Northern Luzon, The State of Southern Tagalog, The State of Bicol, The State of Minparom, The State of Eastern Visayas, The State of Central Visayas, The State of Western Visayas, The State of Northern Mindanao, The State of Southern Mindanao, The State of Bangsa Moro, and Metro Manila, which will be constituted as the Federal Administrative Region.

COMELEC: Review budget for 2010 automated polls

Senator Richard J. Gordon today asked the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to review its proposed 2009 Php 3.8-billion budget to ensure that the country will have a clean, modern and credible election in May 2010.

Gordon, chairman of the joint congressional oversight committee on automated election system, said that the Comelec should review and revise its annual budget and make certain that it reflects the requirements for the full computerization of elections.

"The Senate does not interfere in Comelec functions, but our concern now is to give the Comelec enough time so that there will be no more excuses (in the implementation of a fully automated 2010 elections," he said during yesterday's hearing.

Gordon, chief author of the Election Automation Law, said that the Comelec's figure of Php 50 billion for the complete automation of election seems too bloated.

Estimates of the supplier of the system showed that a combination of the two technologies, 75% Direct Recording Electronic (DRE) and 25% Optical Mark Reader (OMR), would only cost between Php 15 to 18 billion.

He explained that Comelec should immediately study and submit its budget proposal for the next two years so that it can still be included in the 2009 General Appropriations Bill before the House of Representatives starts its deliberations.

Gordon said he remains optimistic that despite the high cost of the automated poll system, the Comelec can implement a totally computerized election for 2010.

"How much is our democracy worth? I believe that an automated election system will save us time and a lot of money on electoral protests. A credible election system will restore our people's trust and confidence not only in our electoral process, but also in our government," Gordon said.

"We had the automated elections in ARMM (Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao) last month. We've gone this far already insofar as the automation of election is concerned. I think we can have a fully automated election on 2010, but the budget should be released immediately as soon as the Comelec submits it budget proposal," he added.

Gordon said the Comelec should fast track its preparations and lay down a timetable for the efficient execution of a computerized election system in two years' time.

He also stressed that the country should push for a 2010 automated elections to ensure a more honest, clean and fair polls as evidenced by the August 11 ARMM elections.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008


Bishop Chito Tagle of the Diocese of Imus, Cavite blesses the historical marker in honor of Col. Jose Tagle, the hero of the Battle of Imus, as Sen. Richard J. Gordon (4th from left) looks on, along with (from left to right) Imus Vice Mayor Armando Ilano (partly hidden), Cavite’s Second District Rep. Elpidio Barzaga and Imus Mayor Emmanuel Maliksi. Gordon, the great grandson of Tagle, was in Imus, Cavite to lead the 112th commemoration of the Battle of Imus Tuesday morning (Sept.2)

Senator Richard J. Gordon today called on the Filipino youth to be proud of the country's rich history as he urged them to look back at its victories than defeats and the brave and courageous people behind them.

Gordon made the exhortation as he led the 112th anniversary celebration of the Battle of Imus highlighted by the unveiling ceremony of a marker in honor of Colonel Jose Tagle in his birthplace at Bayan Luma, Imus, Cavite.

"We are a nation that has forgotten our heroes. We bask in victimization. We only remember defeats and we fear to look back at our past. But that is not the way we should view our history. We have to look at history from our victories and not defeats. We must look back at our history without fear and inhibition," Gordon said.

On September 1896, Tagle led some 1,000 guerilla volunteers from Imus and Kawit in fighting the strong Spanish forces from Manila then massing off Bacoor. His successful feat paved the way for Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo to defeat Spanish General Ernesto de Aguirre.

The three-day historic Battle of Imus that unified Cavitenos is considered as the "first victory" that salvaged the Philippine revolution from near collapse.

Gordon, the great grandson of Col. Jose Tagle, said these events in the Philippine history and the people behind them should always remain in the minds and hearts of the Filipino people, especially the young generation, to keep flame and fervor of nationalism burning.

"We should look back at our history and how our forefathers fought for our nation's democracy. Let us make them our models and exemplify the kind of patriotism that they had. Our history is our identity, and we should be proud of it," Gordon said.

According to him, Col. Tagle has painted a picture of who we must be as a people�dignified, patriotic, and ready to stand ground in defense of our freedom and democracy.

Gordon had embraced these same traits when as chief local executive of Olongapo City had turned his hometown from Sin City to Model City and had risen from the successive disasters of the Mount Pinatubo eruption and the abandonment of the Subic Naval base.

As a first-term lawmaker, Gordon has been shepherding the passage into law of several measures aimed at reforming the country's political system, the most recent of which is the Amended Automated Elections Law which he authored.

He has also been pushing to revert the original name of Luneta to "Bagong Bayan" to signify that the Philippines is a nation of brave men and women who can once again be great.