Olongapo SubicBay BatangGapo Newscenter

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Son of Olongapo, in the 2010 Presidential Race

Former mayor and son of Olongapo, Senator Richard Gordon, submitted his certificate of candidacy in the 2010 presidential race at the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) today, December 1, 2009 together with his running mate, Bayani Fernando, chairman of Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) .

Senator Richard Gordon, brother of Mayor James “Bong” Gordon, Jr. and son of the late Pearl S. Buck International Woman of the Year Amelia Juico Gordon, served as mayor of Olongapo in the 1980’s. Under his leadership, Senator Gordon transformed the sin city into a model city by engaging an active citizenry in solving crimes, ensuring police accountability, improving garbage collection, health and sanitation and orderly public transport and traffic condition in a community that hosted the largest American military facility outside United States. When Mount Pinatubo erupted in 1991, Senator Gordon led the evacuation of disaster victims, including thousands of Aetas.

This natural calamity did not only displace the Aetas from their ancestral lands but also caused massive destruction of Olongapo City, where homes and properties were either lost or were submerged in ashes. His dictum, Fight on Olongapo, helped and inspired Olongapeños to rise up from these difficulties.

Just recovering from the wrath of Pinatubo, another crisis challenged Olongapeños the following year, when the Americans left the Subic Bay Naval Base. But Senator Gordon, together with some 8,000 volunteers protected and preserved the billion-dollar worth of facilities and properties left by Americans from looting and destruction.

Together, with the volunteers, he lobbied and pioneered the creation of the Subic Bay Freeport and became first chairman and administrator of the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) and the Subic Bay Freeport Zone. He convinced local and foreign businesses to provide more than 3-billion dollar worth of investments and generated more than 70, 000 jobs for Olongapeños and for residents from neighboring towns and provinces.


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