Press Release
July 16, 2008

Political allies, critics defend Gordon against latest attacks

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 concurrent Philippine National Red Cross Chairman led the rescue and relief operations 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 year 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 eighteen 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 Cabanutuan, to be in Baguio, or to be in Ormoc. And I am certain nobody again 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."

"He really is a sincere and action man. He performs even without publicity, he helps even beyond his duty. We call it genuine public service," he said, adding: "It is in the guy's innate nature. Nobody could take that away from him. Not even by his ill-motivated detractors, not even by his insecure foes."

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