Olongapo SubicBay BatangGapo Newscenter

Friday, November 21, 2008

The remarkable Senator Gordon

By Alfredo G. Rosario
The remarkable Senator Gordon

I have been watching the Senate investigations into the fertilizer fund scam and the case of the “euro generals” during the past few days and found, to my dismay, that many senators were not at their best when they interrogated the principal characters in the two raging controversies.

A few of them—Senators Mar Roxas, Panfilo Lacson, Nene Pimentel, Loren Legarda and Richard Gordon—were able to hold their own in trying to pin down the elusive Joc-Joc Bolante, alleged architect of the fertilizer fund scam, and former Philippine National Police comptroller Eliseo de la Paz, carrier of the undeclared 105,000 euros (P6.93 million) seized by Russian immigration authorities in Moscow.

Roxas was usually articulate in his questioning of the witnesses. Lacson was sharp, Pimentel dogmatic and Legarda, astute and perceptive. But it was Gordon who stood out for his cutting invectives against the predilection of the principal resource persons to pervert the truth.

Gordon’s ringing eloquence, elegant language and poignant wit in his examination of Bolante and de la Paz fascinated me. Is the senator a lawyer, I asked myself. This question drove me to search Google and my research showed that, indeed, Gordon is a lawyer. He finished law at the University of the Philippines, where he was a top student leader, and became, after passing the bar, an associate of the prestigious ACCRA law office.

I also found out that Gordon was still a law student when he ran for a seat in the 1971 Constitutional Convention and won to become the youngest delegate at 24. His political star has since been rising, first as mayor of Olongapo, then founding chair of the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority and now an outstanding senator.

He ran for the Senate in the 2004 election and placed fifth among the winners.

Gordon did not vote for the ratification of the 1987 Constitution but he swore to preserve and defend it. He is for Charter change for as long as this is done through the proper constitutional process. He was the recipient of many awards and citations for his social and humanitarian services.

In 1994, he was cited by Japan’s Asahi Shimbun as one of the “50 Great Asians for the Future,” and was featured the following year by the NHK TV, also of Japan, as “one of Asia’s Who’s Who.” In 2001, he was given the Silver Humanitarian Award by the Philippine National Red Cross for his “voluntary service to alleviate human suffering.” He is now the National Red Cross chairman.

In the latest Senate reorganization arising from the fall of Senate President Manny Villar and the election of Senator Juan Ponce Enrile in his place, Gordon was chosen chairman of the blue ribbon committee formerly chaired by Senator Alan Peter Cayetano. With his moral and judgmental credentials, he is truly worthy of the position.

Gordon has made no secret of his intention to run for president in the 2010 national election. Given his charisma and potentials for strong leadership, he is marked to rise even higher in the political firmament. He is the man to watch.



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