Candidate Profile: Going Gordon!

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To go Gordon is to go beyond one’s traditional way to further ideals and aspirations, like how Gordon has painted his way to the top.

By Eva Callueng

Richard “Dick” Juico Gordon was born on August 5, 1945 to James Leonard Tagle Gordon and Amelia Juico Gordon who were both mayors of Olongapo.

Young Dick finished his elementary education at Colegio de San Juan de Letran in Manila, and in 1962 he completed his secondary education at the Ateneo de Manila University. He continued his education at the Ateneo with a degree of Bachelor of Arts, Major in History and Government in 1966.

It was 1966 when the freshly graduated Dick joined the private sector as the Brand Manager for Procter and Gamble Philippines. A year later, he furthered his formal education at the University of the Philippines, to later graduate with a degree in Law in 1975. Dick then practiced his profession for four year as an Associate of ACCRA Law Offices until his mayoralty candidacy at the City of Olongapo in 1980.

His first term as mayor of Olongapo was from 1980-1986: a post he reclaimed later in 1988 to 1993. In March 1992, months before his mayoralty term expired, he founded, chaired and administered the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (the people from Olongapo lobbied for the creation of a free port after the rejection of the Bases Treaty in 1991). Gordon ran again for the mayoralty position in 1992. He won a landslide victory, but two government positions being held by one person was ruled out by the Supreme Court. Gordon had to leave one post, so his SBMA chairmanship ended in 1998.

The political history of Gordon’s family in Olongapo can be traced through to the beginning of his father’s leadership, James Gordon: the founding father of Olongapo and first elected Municipal Mayor of Olongapo. His mother, Amelia, also has the distinction of being the first city Mayor of Olongapo and a recipient of the Pearl S. Buck Woman of the Year award in 2003.
Dick is married to Kate H. Gordon, whose political experience is equally rich: she was a UNESCO Mayors for Peace Prize Awardee in Asia 1998, a three-term Mayor of Olongapo City (1995-2004) and a member of the 8th-10th Congresses representing the 1st District of Zambales (1987-1995). The couple is blessed with children: Marnie, Ali, LJ and Brian.

Since his election as governor of the Philippine National Red Cross in 1986, Gordon has taken an active role in the rescue, relief and rehabilitation operations in various disasters: shipwrecks, typhoons, fires, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and other disasters. This line of advocacy has made Gordon known and liked by the Filipino electorate: he joined the senatorial race in 2004 and garnered the fifth rank. His cabinet membership after his SBMA chairmanship earned him numerous credits for the increase of tourism and support to local produce. Distinctions and humanitarian awards were given to him as his efforts were recognized by various award-giving bodies both locally and internationally.

Gordon espouses various issues in the Senate: he chairs the Senate Committee on Accountability of Public Officers and Investigations (Blue Ribbon), the Committee on Tourism, the Committee on Constitutional Amendments (13th Congress), and the Committee on Government Corporations and Public Enterprises. He is a member of the Commission on Appointments.

One of Dick’s notable stands is his opposition to the method of Constituent Assembly or ‘con-ass’ initiated by GMA and former House Speaker Jose de Venecia. He was also responsible for the passage of RA 9369: the Automated Election Systems, which will be used these upcoming elections.

As his term ends on June 30, 2010, Dick Gordon had signified his intention to run for the presidency as early as 2007, but his former party had chosen a different contender. Gordon created a new political party instead: Bagumbayan.

Current MMDA Chairman Bayani Fernando is running as Dick’s vice-presidential mate. The Gordon-Bayani ‘Transformers’ tandem is seen to be rooted in the spirit of volunteerism to harness cooperation and transformation among the people.



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