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

Thursday, November 26, 2009

PROBE PROFILES 2010 Presidentiables

Nakilala sa matagal na na panunungkulan bilang Mayor ng Olongapo at SBMA Chairman, napaunlad daw ni Gordon ang mga sinakupan dahil sa striktong pamamahala at disiplina. Uubra kaya sa bansa ang istilo ng pamamahala ni Gordon? Ating suriin ang plataporma si Senator Richard "Dick" Gordon.









Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Firm and Fair judgment on NBN-ZTE report

With the findings and recommendations contained in the committee report on the botched National Broadband Network-ZTE project, Senator Richard J. Gordon has once again exemplified firm and fair judgment.

In releasing the report of the Senate blue ribbon committee, which he chairs, Gordon stressed that no one is above the law and that all public officials involved in the anomalous deal must be held accountable for their actions.

"Everyone in this story stands accountable to the Filipino nation. The Senate blue ribbon committee has issued a report that is based on the testimonials and other pieces of evidence presented during the 13 Senate hearings. We have a report that we believe is firm and fair," Gordon said.

The 127-page report contains findings of the committee that the Ombudsman is wrong in dismissing the case against the President on the mere pretext of presidential immunity from suit.

It also recommended the filing of appropriate charges against First Gentleman Jose Miguel Arroyo; former Commission on Elections chairman Benjamin Abalos; former Speaker Jose De Venecia Jr., and his son Jose "Joey" De Venecia III; Secretary Leandro Mendoza, Asst. Sec. Lorenzo Formoso and Asst. Sec. Elmer Soneja of the Department of Transportation and Communications; Engineer Rodolfo Noel Lozada; former National Economic and Development Authority Sec. Romulo Neri; Sec. Lito Atienza; and former Deputy Executive Sec. Huberto Gaite.

"It is our duty to find out the accountability of those involved in this anomaly. The appropriate charges must be filed against those found liable, but if a person is not the most guilty, he may become a state witness," the senator said.

Gordon said the Senate blue ribbon committee and its staff ensured a firm and fair report on the NBN-ZTE deal, like how they did with the report on the P728-million fertilizer fund scam, wherein the committee also recommended the filing of charges against all those implicated, led by former Agriculture Sec. Jocelyn Bolante.

"We need to show that the rule of law governs our country and that the government is subject to law. Since public office is a public trust, government officials must, at all times, be accountable to the people," he said.

Even before he headed the blue ribbon committee, Gordon has already showed a no-nonsense approach to fight corruption through his "firm but fair, serious and sincere" way of conducting Senate investigations.

In 2006, as chairman of Senate committee on government corporations and public enterprises, he led the inquiry into the alleged improprieties committed within the Philcomsat Group of Corporation by their respective boards of directors, purportedly with the consent and cooperation of the Presidential Commission on Good Government.

He also led the investigation on the June 2006 Nursing Licensure Examinations that was marred by widespread leakage of exam questions by review centers.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


After 13 hearings and 4 technical working groups, the Blue Ribbon Committee came up with the following indisputable facts:

This is a story of how people in high places-the relatives of the most powerful men and women in government took advantage of their relationships, either with their parent or spouse, to cajole the Executive into entering a national broadband contract that would obtain something our country did not need, and which is manifestly disadvantageous to the Filipino people. It is about the war of the most powerful, most influential and most organized syndicates in government, some members of which are public officers, who were at each other’s throats because of an alleged double–cross. It is about the never-ending battle among the political elite for economic power, domination and control.

On the one hand, we have the former Comelec Chairman Benjamin S. Abalos who claims to have no less than the First Gentleman as his political sponsor. With him are Leo San Miguel, Ruben Reyes and General Quirino De La Torre. They are known as the Filipino group. They are the group that were lobbying for ZTE.

On the other hand, we have Mr. Jose De Venecia III, the son of then House Speaker Jose De Venecia, Jr. who had no less than former NEDA Director General Romulo Neri as well as Neri’s confidante, Engineer Rodolfo Noel “Jun” Lozada, as staunch supporters of his BOT scheme. Mr. Jose De Venecia III claims that he is a whistleblower. However, there were many times in this scandal that he could have blown the whistle, but did not. He only started complaining when he did not get his way. Mr. Jose De Venecia III and his group were pushing for Amsterdam Holdings to capture the national broadband contract.

In the middle of it all, is a President who was unable to control and discipline her own men as they fight over their kickbacks. She kept her silence in the midst of the corruption- acquiescing and condoning the deed. The facts pointing to her may not be total, but the stink is perceived to have reached her office.

Because the NBN-ZTE controversy had reached fever pitch, the Philippine government had to cancel the contract. Former Comelec Chairman Benjamin Abalos also resigned from his position in the Constitutional Commission.

The NBN-ZTE scandal remains to be one of the most acrimoniously debated issues in the Philippines. If people look at the opportunists in this scandal, they will discover that they are all scavengers and predators ready to feast on the carrions of their preys. And when they cannot get their rightful share of the booty, one of them squeals and they start pointing fingers at another.

Everyone in this story stands accountable to the Filipino nation. This deal would have been kept hidden if all of the characters were able to “moderate their greed” and if ever they lived up to the saying that there is “honor among thieves.” But, the situation got out of hand and the self-proclaimed loser, Mr. Jose De Venecia III, spilled the beans.



• The President’s immunity from suit

The Ombudsman is wrong in merely dismissing the case against the President on the mere pretext of presidential immunity from suit.

It is the duty of the Ombudsman to investigate impeachable officers. No exemption is provided in Section 22. What the Office should have done was to investigate and make findings for transmittal to the House, if an impeachment would have been warranted, rather than a blanket statement or exculpation because of supposed immunity. It is not for the Ombudsman to make a ruling as to immunity, but for the House to decide what to do once it receives the transmittal. Neither was it for the Ombudsman to say that there is no more impeachment process to be had because of the one-year bar. It is for the House to make that ruling. Private persons such as the First Gentleman could have been covered in this provision, as well.

Further, the Constitution in Article VII, Section 5 provides that the President “preserve and defend its Constitution, execute its laws, do justice to every man.”
Also, Article VII, Section 17 of the Constitution provides that: “The President shall have control of all the executive departments, bureaus, and offices. He shall ensure that the laws be faithfully executed.”

Her acts in this case reveal that her performance of presidential duty has been wanting.


• Violation of Section 3 (a) and (h) of Republic Act 3019 otherwise known as ANTI-GRAFT AND CORRUPT PRACTICES ACT

• Violation of Article 212 of the Revised Penal Code otherwise known as Corruption of Pubic Officials.


• Violation of Section 5 of Republic Act No. 3019, otherwise known as the ANTI-GRAFT AND CORRUPT PRACTICES ACT.
Section 5. Prohibition on certain relatives.


• Violation of Section 5 of Republic Act 3019 otherwise known as ANTI-GRAFT AND CORRUPT PRACTICES ACT

• Violation of Republic Act No. 6713 Section 7 (d) otherwise known as Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees.


• Violation of Sections 4 (a) and 5 of Republic Act No. 3019, otherwise known as the ANTI-GRAFT AND CORRUPT PRACTICES ACT.


• Violation of Section 3 (h) of RA 3019 otherwise known as the ANTI-GRAFT AND CORRUPT PRACTICES ACT.


• Violation of Sections 3 (a) and (h) of RA 3019 otherwise known as the ANTI-GRAFT AND CORRUPT PRACTICES ACT.

• Violation of Civil Service Law, Book V Chapter 7 Section 54, Executive Order No. 292, Administrative Code of 1987.


• Violation of Section 3 (a) and (h) of RA 3019 otherwise known as the ANTI-GRAFT AND CORRUPT PRACTICES ACT.


• Violation Article 150 of the Revised Penal Code

ZTE Corporation

An investigation must be done on the ZTE Corporation, as well, in order to determine its role in the whole mess. While we must, the government must, encourage the influx of foreign investors and corporations in order to contribute to employment, and wealth creation in the country, these corporations must be warned not to participate in illegal transactions. These companies must not contribute or encourage the corruption of public officers.

Make full use of infra in Luzon to develop provinces

The government must immediately utilize the available infrastructures in the country to develop provinces into areas of investment and livelihood like Subic said Senator Richard J. Gordon.

"What would have happened to Subic if we had not thought about creating a Freeport there? We need a government that is proactive so that it can provide the people with more options for settlement and livelihood," Gordon said during the Kapihan sa Manila Hotel.

"The lakeside towns of Laguna are still flooded because of the typhoons. We see that we are going to have problems in Laguna for the next several years. We cannot wait for that so we need to relocate the people in areas where there are livelihood and employment opportunities," he added.

Gordon, the founding chairman and administrator of the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA), explained that the government can start decongesting Manila and dispersing the industries to provinces with the infrastructures already available in Subic, Clark and Manila.

The senator has made such a proposal under Senate bill 143, which primarily aims to fully utilize the three airports already built between Subic, Clark and Manila, the three seaports in Subic, Manila and La Union, and the connecting highway and railway in Luzon.

He added that another bill he authored allows for the full development of the Laguna de Bay area. Senate bill 3428 would strengthen the policy-making and regulatory powers of the Laguna Lake Development Authority (LLDA), in order that it can realize the vision of a self-sufficient and highly dynamic integrated water resource management authority.

"All the great cities of the world are beside great bays. The water resources of Laguna Lake and its tributary rivers are used for irrigation, power generation, recreation, domestic water supply, and navigation, among others. It could easily become like Lake Geneva," Gordon said.

"We need to fully utilize the resources of our country. This is what we need today. The economy of the world is down right now. Before they get to develop themselves back into full gear, now is the time for us to prepare to have them come to the Philippines and invest in our areas," he added.

COMELEC urged to conduct massive voters' education campaign

The Commission on Elections (Comelec) has been urged to conduct an intensive nationwide voter's education campaign to ensure the success of automated polls in 2010
by Senator Richard J. Gordon.

Gordon, author of Republic Act (RA) 9369 or the amended Automated Elections System Law, pointed out that the country's first modern election is very important, its success hinges on the people being able to vote, and their votes counted.

"Automated elections will get the country out of the political rut that it has fallen into. It will bring back the people's voice in choosing the country's leaders," he said.

"Hence, ensuring that voters will know how to cast their votes in next year's political exercise is of great importance. This will prevent voters from being disenfranchised or their ballots being spoiled," he added.

During the Comelec's budget hearing in the Senate, officials of both the Comelec and winning contractor Smartmatic International - Total Information Management (TIM) have assured that they will conduct massive tri-media ad campaign to educate voters on the mechanics of the automated election.

The Comelec further disclosed that they are organizing a road show, to be conducted by election officers from all the different regional offices of the poll body, to complement the tri-media ad campaign.

The road show will be an on the ground, barangay level voters education program aimed reach voters who do not frequently watch television or listen to the radio.

Gordon, however, recommended that the Comelec should educate all Filipinos and not just the registered voters, which totaled 45 million as of July 2009.

"The voters' education campaign should reach all Filipinos. Do not limit yourselves to the registered voters only," he told Comelec officials.

Friday, November 06, 2009

Avoid disaster, spread development

The building up areas in the greater Central Luzon region to decongest Metro Manila and reduce the impact of disasters in the metropolis was reiterated by Senator Richard J. Gordon(Ind).

To pave the way for the development of Central Luzon , Gordon authored Senate Bill 143 or the Luzon Global Corridor Act which aims to strengthen and expand the powers of the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) and the Clark Development Corporation (CDC).

Expanding the powers of SBMA and CDC will allow them to develop other special economic zones in Luzon to optimize the utilization of the three airports in Subic, Clark and Manila ; two seaports in Subic and Manila and one connecting highway, the Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (SCTEX).

"Metro Manila is overcrowded. The real disaster is the human disaster, because we do not know how to cope with the cycles of nature anymore. This will become even worse when the impact of climate change becomes stronger in the coming years," Gordon emphasized.

"One key part on solving this problem is to spread opportunities outside of Metro Manila to decongest the city while solving poverty in the provinces. When a person is able to stand on his or her own two feet, with an education and a job, then he or she will be empowered to deal with the crises of life. That's real development, that's real disaster prevention," he added.

In filing the measure, Gordon has taken the first step in making his vision of making Luzon an industrial and education hub through the optimum utilization of the infrastructures in the area.

"We need to put our development planning together with the engineering. Taxpayer's money will be better used if we develop these areas strategically and responsibly," he said.

The senator pointed out that giving incentives for leading universities and strategic industries like shipbuilding and prefab housing construction to move and set up operations there will generate more jobs, and will in turn bring in more investment from all the other supporting industries that will follow them there.

"More importantly, this will allow us to really plan the development of the area, by creating and enforcing proper zoning, requiring proper environmental standards, and building new cities with more foresight and planning," he stressed.

Monday, November 02, 2009


The Commission on Elections (Comelec) was asked to put in place a tracking system to ensure an orderly transport of voting machines for next year's national elections by Senator Richard J. Gordon (Ind).

"We have to assure the people that the machines, which have already been tested, will be delivered to a certain polling place at a particular time," he said.

Gordon, "father" of election modernization in the Philippines, authored Republic Act (RA) 9369 or the amended Automated Elections System Law.

The lawmaker, a strong advocate of honest, orderly and peaceful elections, said the tracking system would complement the use of cargo forwarders to deliver the machines to all polling precincts.

Delivery of the machines, called precinct count optical scans, was committed by the consortium of Smartmatic International Corp. and Total Information Management Technology Inc. in its contract signed with the Comelec.

The consortium earlier said that instead of one, it would tap a number of cargo forwarders to speed up the transport of the machines to the polling centers nationwide.

Gordon said he favored the tapping of the services of a number of forwarders, saying it would foster competition and prompt efficient shipment of the machines.

"Since there will be several forwarders instead of just one, they would now compete in the sense that each one will give its best shot by delivering fast and efficiently. They would not want to be criticized and told that the others were better," he added.

Gordon said, however, the Comelec should know where these machines are at any given time. "That is why, there should be a tracking system. If you can have GPS (global positioning system), that would be better," he said.