Olongapo SubicBay BatangGapo Newscenter

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Allies, critics defend Gordon

LOCAL allies and past critics of Senator Richard J. Gordon surprisingly found themselves in the same fence as they denounced yesterday the alleged “latest vicious smears” reportedly concocted by some of the senator’s political detractors out to destroy him.

It is recalled that some sectors have recently labeled as “too much politicking” the latest actions of the senator, who, as current Philippine Red Cross chairman, led the rescue and relief operation last month of the victims of Typhoon Frank in the Visayas region.

“I have accused him of many things in the past. And yes we have disagreed on a lot of issues. But one sure thing about Dick Gordon is, you can never accuse him of politicking whenever he lends help during disasters and calamities,” said Prof. Armin Santos, a former SBMA official who used to be one of the senator’s political critics in Olongapo.

Santos admits it has always been in Gordon’s character to help, even if the call is beyond his responsibility and duty. And as the country remembers the 18th years commemoration of the 1990 earthquake, he said it is only fitting to recognize the unselfish and heroic acts of individuals who risk their lives to help others.

“During the July 16 earthquake 18 years ago, then Olongapo Mayor Dick Gordon along with a handful of rescue volunteers, rushed to Cabanatuan City to help in the rescue and body recovery operations of the earthquake victims. Years later, during the forgettable and dreaded Ormoc landslide in Leyte, Mayor Gordon was again there to help in the rescue operations,” he said.

Another former critic, Bong Alinea, a dean in a local college in Olongapo, have this to say: “Nobody obliged him then to be in Cabanatuan, to be in Baguio, or to be in Ormoc. And I am certain nobody obliged him to help in Panay Island, too. We have to give credit to the guy’s passion to help, it is simply amazing.

Sammy Del Rosario and Jake Escalona of the Olongapo Business Club could not agree more.

“Senator Gordon was always at his best during the many critical times of calamities in the country. He always prefers to silently yet efficiently do the action in the field, while most politicians decide to do all the talking in front of TV news cameras and radio broadcasts,” Del Rosario said, stressing that Gordon has always been fond of problem-solving, not finger-pointing.

Escalona said Gordon is not a type of person who loves to grandstand just to earn the so-called “pogi points.”

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