"What this Country needs is not a change OF men but a change IN men" March 1980

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Gordon assails ‘frailocracy’

By Dino Balabo, Central Luzon Bureau
The Manila Times

BULACAN: Sen. Richard Gordon said on Tuesday that the century-old practice of established corrupt Spanish friars still dominates the government service today as evidenced by its transactional leaders and their patronage politics.

Speaking before hundreds of participants to the 155th birthday celebration of the Bulakenyo hero Marcelo H. del Pilar here, Gordon stressed that the country needs transformational leaders like del Pilar, the great propagandist who used the famous pen name “Plaridel.”

“The ways of friars are still entrenched today,” Gordon said owing to transactional leaders that reduce the capabilities of the Filipinos.

He said that transformational leaders are men who lead their people with visions, values and provide direction to their people like the US President Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

“Unlike transformational leaders that inspires people to action, transactional leaders rely on the old practice of padrino system,” Gordon said. Padrino refers to patronage politics.

He said that as a journalist, del Pilar inspired his countrymen to action because with their realization of their duty to their country and their dignity as Filipinos.

Local officials who attended the celebrations hailed Gordon’s statements, noting that it is what the country needs today.

Mayor Ambrosio Cruz of Guiguinto, the president of the League of Municipalities of the Philippines Bulacan chapter, said the people needs transformational leaders that will lead them out of poverty.

“That’s what we are doing now through our ‘Ang Mayor at Ikaw’ people’s forum,” Cruz said. He is credited in transforming the sleepy town of Guiguinto into a news industrial center in the province.

Meanwhile Mayor Ricardo Meneses of this town called on local journalist to follow the virtues of Plaridel.

“Follow Plaridel’s example of balanced reportage and developmental journalism,” Meneses said.
The celebration was organized by the municipal government of Bulacan town through the coordination of the National Historical Institute.

It started with an early morning parade that was joined by 80 organizations that drew thousands of participants including students.

Sadly, only some 200 attended the celebration and listened to passionate speeches of the guest speakers.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Channel News Asia - One on One

One-on-One with Philippine Senator Richard Gordon
(Channel 57 on Sky Cable and Home Cable Wednesday 31 August 9:30pm)

When American Forces left Subic Bay, and nature dumped lava and ash on the area with the eruption of Mount Pinatubo, hope was in short supply for most, except for the Mayor of Olongapo.

Now a Philippine Senator Richard Gordon shares his strategy for the transformation in Olongapo. Learn how the man who’s been called, “the man who never sleeps” led white-collared volunteers and a community dependent on jobs and business opportunities from the American bases, to raise literally from the ashes, a new city where top multinationals investors now park their money and companies.

The Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority Chairman who went on to serve in the Philippine Cabinet and now Senate, also shares with host Melvin Yong, just what the Philippines needs to tackle challenges such as the lack of investment and economic growth, the disenchantment of the Filipino middle class and the failure at transparency and good governance.

Broadcast Details

Channel NewsAsia International
Wed 9:32PM 7:02PM 8:32PM Broadcast 1
12:32AM 10:02PM 11:32PM Broadcast 2
Thu 12:32PM 10:02AM 11:32AM Broadcast 3
5:32 PM 3:02 PM 4:32 PM Broadcast 4
Sat 7:00 AM 4:30 AM 6:00 AM Broadcast 5

Channel NewsAsia Singapore

Wed 9:30PM Broadcast 1
12:30AM Broadcast 2
Thu 12:30PM Broadcast 3
5:30 PM Broadcast 4
Sat 7:30 AM Broadcast 5

Bill seeking to correct flaws in bases conversion filed

By Tonette Orejas, PDI Central Luzon Desk
Editor's Note: Published on page A21 of the August 30, 2005 issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer

CITY OF SAN FERNANDO: Sen. Richard Gordon has filed a bill to correct the deficiency of the Base Conversion Law (Republic Act 7227) concerning tax and duties exemptions.

Recently, the Supreme Court upheld the exemptions for investors at the Subic Bay Freeport and nullified the same for investors at the Clark Special Economic Zone, Camp John Hay in Baguio City, Poro Point in La Union and other special economic zones created under RA 7227.

Senate Bill No. 2098 seeks to amend RA 7227 by introducing a provision granting the same fiscal incentives to other ecozones, said Gordon, chair of the Senate committee on government corporations and public enterprises.

The court’s decisions disallowing the privileges in Clark and Camp John Hay raised the red flag to the world that rules in the country are changed in the middle of the game, Gordon said in a speech before some 300 Rotarians here on Saturday.

The court’s rulings in Clark and Camp John Hay were issued in July 2005 and October 2003, respectively.

Court ruling
In its recent decision, the court said that while Section 12 of RA 7227 expressly provides for the grant of incentives to the Subic zone, it fails to make any similar grant in favor of other economic zones, including Clark.

Section 15 of RA 7227 authorized the President to create economic zones in and around former bases of the United States in Pampanga and Tarlac (Clark Air Base); in San Fernando City, La Union (Wallace Air Station in Poro Point); in Baguio City (Camp John Hay); in the towns of Morong, Hermosa, Dinalupihan in Bataan; and in Castillejos and San Marcelino in Zambales.

The debate over the fiscal incentives provision of RA 7227, which Congress passed in 1992, came as the government entered the 13th year of its base conversion work.
The state-owned Clark Development Corp. has filed a motion for reconsideration before the Supreme Court in a bid to protect some 300 investors.

Some Clark investors have threatened to relocate to China, suspendexpansion plans or reduce the number of workers to cope with additional tax obligations.

Gordon said SB 2098 proposed to extend to RA 7227 the incentives guaranteed under the Special Economic Zone Act of 1995 (RA 7916).

He is proposing that the same taxation system of 5-percent final tax on gross income be applied.
Other fiscal incentives are also provided under Presidential Decree No. 66, which created the Export Processing Zone Authority, as well as those provided by the Omnibus Investments Code of 1987, and the Export Development Act of 1994.

The bill, according to Gordon, also seeks to grant free port status and the same incentives to Poro Point.

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Gordon wants turncoats punished

By TJ Burgonio
Inquirer News Service
Editor's Note: Published on page A1 of the August 27, 2005 issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer

IN PHILIPPINE politics, lawmakers and local chief executives switch parties faster than you can say "impeach." And nobody seems to mind-at least until last week.

In a bid to curb this common but revolting practice, administration Sen. Richard Gordon has filed a bill penalizing political turncoats and opportunists in the country's political system.
Gordon lamented that a political party, essentially a democratic tool that offers the people choices for government positions, had been stunted by "rampant party-switching" in the system.

"This practice is so rampant that switching party allegiance is already taken for granted," he said in his explanatory note of Senate Bill No. 2082.

Still independent
Only last Wednesday, Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile completed his switch from opposition to independent to administration when he announced that he had forged a ''working coalition" with the Senate majority. The veteran senator returned to the Senate last year under
the opposition Partido ng Masang Pilipino, of which he is still the chairman. And he still calls himself "independent."

Enrile said he cleared his switch to the majority with ousted President Joseph Estrada, president of the PMP.

Gordon said ''in effect, party-switching has contributed to the stunting of the political maturity of the Philippine electorate and encouraged transactional leadership instead of transformational leadership."

Above all else, this practice had encouraged a personality-based politics and limited the relevance of party platforms in the election of government officials, said the outspoken senator, who ran under the administration's K4 coalition in last year's national elections.

Programs not continued
"This unfortunate system has resulted in the non-continuity of government plans, programs and projects which eventually redounds to the disadvantages for the Filipino people," he said.
In his proposed legislation, Gordon defined a political turncoat as any member of the political party who would change party affiliation any time after being included in the party's ticket.
A political party might consider a member who regularly voted with another political party as a political opportunist, he added.

The classification, however, did not apply to any member who would object to a change in party direction "by reason of his or her religious, ideological, or moral training or belief," according to the senator.

Gordon proposed a host of tough penalties for turncoats, like he should be prohibited from assuming office if he would change party affiliation during the election period, or he should forfeit his office if he would change affiliation while serving his term.

The other proposed penalties for a turncoat were:
• Disqualification from running for an elective position in the next election immediately following the act of changing party affiliation.
• Disqualification from being appointed to or from holding any position in any public office for three years after the expiration of his or her term.
• Disqualification from assuming any executive or administrative position in his or her new political party.
• Requirement to refund amounts received from his or her political party, plus a surcharge of 25 percent.

An opportunist, on the other hand, shall not be entitled to any of the benefits given to party members and may be expelled by his party. He may also be required to refund all amounts received from the party, according to Gordon.

Gordon did not say if a recent incident of turncoatism prompted him to author and file such a bill.

Like anti-dynasty bill
But he voiced the belief that punishing turncoatism would bring "greater stability" in the political system "because it would ensure that membership in political parties will be relatively permanent, and the electorate can expect, if not exact, strict compliance from government officials in terms of promises and platforms upon which their political party is grounded."

If passed, the Commission on Elections will draft and enforce the implementing rules. But first, the bill, which is expected to meet stiff opposition like the unpopular anti-dynasty bill, has to get the nod of senators and congressmen alike.

Friday, August 19, 2005

QUEZON DAY Remarks, Quezon Memorial Circle, Quezon CIty

Napakalaking karangalan po na maipakilala ng isang taong ginagalang ninyo at hindi lumalabas na pabalat-bunga lang ang pagpapakilala. Mukhang pinag-aralan talaga ako nitong si Sonny Belmonte at mas mahalaga sa aking hindi yung pinag-aralan niya iyong katauhan natin ngunit iyong pagkakaibigan namin na hindi bumababa at lumalakas sa sa pagkakataong ito.

Today, it is indeed a great honor na maipakilala ng pinakamagaling na mayor dito sa Pilipinas ngayon—ang pinakamagaling na siyudad sa buong Pilipinas. Let me greet also the Vice-mayor - Herbert Bautista. Ewan ko kung bakit tinatawag na Bistek, dahil seguro sa show niya. And also all the councilors and of course our congressman of Quezon City, Congresswoman Nanette Daza, palakpakan po natin si Nanette and of course Congressman BingBong Crisologo, mula sa Ilocos at napunta sa Quezon City, nagkaroon ng transformation sa kanyang buhay and I am really very proud of him. Also let me greet Gabby Abancelia, ang apo ng ating Presidente Quezon. Ang ating host sa araw na ito ang National Historical Institute, Dr. Pahular, palakpakan po natin si Dr. Pahular. Ang isang miyembro po ng kapulisan na I have had the privilege of serving with in the City of Olongapo and Subic si Nick Radovan who is doing very well here. And of course kayong lahat po na nandito, ang mga miyembro ng civic organizations, ang kanilang mga presidente tulad ni Dante Liban ng Red Cross at former Congressman. My fellow worker at isang pinagpipitagang dalaga ng Pilipinas na walang iba kundi si Charito Planas. And of course ang ating mga Girls Scouts and Boy Scouts, ang ating mga Knight of Columbus, Lions, Rotarians and all our members of the Police, the government and of course ang ating mga guro, ang ating mga kababayan, my fellow citizens, a very pleasant good morning to all of you.

What a great pleasure and honor to be here this morning. I suppose, it is a dream that I never expected that would happen to me. President Quezon and I were born in the same birth month—August. I always thought of him as the first President although history tells us if we are to frame strict nationalism that President Aguinaldo was the first although he did not achieve international recognition but nonetheless it was President Quezon who rocked the boat of America in the country that time. He was never, never at a loss for energy and drive, charm and charisma. Iyan po ang ating pangulong Quezon. Marami na kayong narinig dito taun-taon. Sabi ni Gabby at nagpapasalamat ako at sinabi din ni Mayor na kanina na ngayon lang daw hindi umulan sa apat na taong siya’y nagsisilbi bilang mayor. Pagkaganyan ho papayag akong ma-imbita uli dito next year para hindi darating ang ulan. But certainly, napakapalad po ng Quezon City because it is named after our first president of the Commonwealth and if there is anybody in our country that must be an example of what it must be I thought it was Quezon, in terms of the president of the Republic. He had a clear picture, alam niya kung ano ang larawan ng kanyang pag-uugali bilang pangulo. He was frank, direct at parang kung minsan temperamental but he can be charming. He could very well walk with Kings and Princess, deal with Manila’s 400, the Spanish remnants of the past but at the same time kaya niyang makisalamuha sa mga dukha at mga nahihirapan. He spoke about social justice as uplifting the poor not just giving a hand-out but uplifting the poor of our people and he was dedicated all the time to absolute independence of our country. He was a pride but he is still an idealist. He wanted freedom na walang kondisyones but at the same time he was pragmatic enough to deal with the Americans and make sure that if he could not get it right away he would work hard for it so that there would be a commonwealth and eventually become a commonwealth president of our country.

Let me also say that he was pragmatic enough to realize that even under the commonwealth as president, he knew that the clouds of war were coming and because of that he tried although we do not have a foreign policy at that time, to deal with the Mexicans as well as with the Japanese, to make sure that we would be insulated from the war that was to come but when it did come and we were attacked at walang kapalandakan inatake ang Pilipinas ng mga banyagang Hapon, right away, he knew where to stand at hindi siya nagbabalimbing.

Alam ninyo ‘yung sa ating bansa ngayon yung word na balimbing ay nauuso. Would you know that in the world, leaders are important because leaders define the kind of character we must be? Kailangan ang lider ay itinataas ang antas ng pag-uugali at performance ng ating bansa. That is why I am a great fan of our mayor here, Sonny Belmonte. Bakit? Quezon City had the most potential, which is the biggest in terms of territory of the all the cities of Metro Manila. It was named after a great man and today you have a great mayor that had made Quezon City financially independent, fiscal responsible at saka nakikita ninyo ngayon na dumarating ang biyaya dahil sa tulong ng mga madla at hindi lamang sa liderato na nagpapalabas ng galing ng mga taga- Quezon City. At makikita ninyo na ang gobyerno ng Quezon City ay isang gobyerno na nagbibigay ng isang patakbo ng goyerno na within sa tinatawag na –the limit of fiscal responsibility. Hindi umuungol ‘yung budget sa inyong tinatawag na mga gastos sa personnel o gasto sa maintenance at ang nakikita natin ay bumubulawak ang mga kabiyayaan dito sa Quezon City sa pamamagitan ng isang liderato na responsible at talagang hindi lamang responsible more especially responsive to our people. Diba ganyan ang gusto natin? Most of our people in this country know what we do not want. There is you of course who really realize what we know we want. Kaya ang gulo-gulo ng bansa. Lahat naiinis, lahat umaangal. Bata pa po ako naririnig ko na ‘yung angal sa graft and corruption, sa high prices, sa kakulangan ng imprastraktura. Pare-pareho iyan and yet when we vote pababayaan natin ang mga pangulo natin at pagkatapos kapag nanalo na sila titirahin natin nang titirahin ang ating mga pangulo.

Quezon did not look any of that. Quezon was a leader. He called the shots. He was not a dictator but he was strong in terms of leadership. He was firm and he was square. He realized what the country needed at that time. He wanted independence and when he got the Commonwealth he knew what the country needed. He needed unity and stability so that the first act was the National Defense Act of our country to make sure that not only the bill of rights in our country but also the duty to serve our country not only in time of war but in time of peace. He made sure that the economy came in. The National Economic Council was put up under his Commonwealth. At saka makikita ninyo na noong siya ay nandoon sa Amerika, kabata-bata niya ay doon siya nagpunta at ipinaglaban niya ang Jones Law that gave us autonomy in legislation and promised us independence. And when he was a senate president noong inilabas ‘yung Hare-Hawes Cutting Bill na pinalalabas na bibigyan tayo ng kalayaan at magkakaroon tayo ng Commonwealth, he worked with one of the Antis. Ayaw niya yung Hare-Hawes Bill because he knew what he wanted. He wanted a better independence bill. He therefore went back to the United States and said “We don’t want your promises of independence with a string attached that you are going to have an army and navy bases here and you have a un-channeled control of our economy.” He went back to the US and was criticized. Ang sabi nila nagpapalabas ka lang but he went to the United States and lobbied to get the Tydings-Mcduffie Law where this time there will be negotiation in so far as base in arrangements and economic development of our country is concerned. So makikita ninyo, alam ng tao kung ano ang kanyang ginagawa. Maraming nagsasabing Presidente na alam nila ang kanuilang ginagawa ngunit kulang sa komunikasyon sa tao. Iyan ang pinakamahalagang leadership role ng isang pangulo. Yung ipaabot ang kanyang damdamin at kanyang liderato sa mga tao hindi lamang sa salita ngunit sa gawa. And here Quezon excelled.

Quezon could be angry upon his people, could be angered against his own party. He could tell you…“My loyalty to my party ends when my loyalty to my country begins” not because he wanted to be balimbing but because he objected conscienceously to the kind of direction of the party that he created. He did not believe in blind nationalism. He was pragmatic and all the time he demanded that we make sure that we have a government that was continually transformational. He believed as you said that the voice of the people is the voice of God but subject to the condition and I quote “that the voice of the people is the voice of God only when it is expressive of a judgment, from within the safe channel of serene reflections.” In other words hindi tayo lumulundag kapag may pumupukpok sa ating harapan at nagpapakitang sila’y makatao but in reality nagpapa-pogi lamang ang karamihan. Sa mga panahon ngayon, nakikita natin, bulyawan nang bulyawan, atakihan nang atakihan at pasusundin tayo. Kailangan ang Pilipino must judge in the confines or in the channels of serene reflection. In other words, kailangan masipag ang Pilipino na ipaglaban ang kanyang karapatan, masipag ang Pilipino na magtrabaho para sa kabutihan ng kanyang bansa pero ang kailangan katulad sa Olongapo nga na sinabi kong kinopya ko kay President Quezon “Bawal ang Tamad sa Olongapo” at lalong "Bawal ang Tanga sa Olongapo."

Sa makatuwid mga kababayan, marami pong tina-tanga ang ating bayan sa mga kasalukuyan. Madali tayong madala sa haplos ng panahon. Magkamali ang pangulo, palalakihin pero you must see a long vision in this country which is perfect. Sino ba ang perfect government? Alam ba ninyo nang ginawa yung Constitution ng Amerika, they were supposed to be 74 delegates and about 18 did not show up, 13 resigned at nang matapos yung Constitution nila- tapos. Walang angal. Walang gulo. Marami din silang insecurity but they continued to go on and when they amended the Constitution, they did not amend it the way we do. They amended it per phrase. Paisa-isa para maintindihan at maisapuso ng taumbayan. Sa ating kasaysayan ng ating Saligang Batas matapos umalis si President Quezon, ano ang nangyari sa atin? Hindi ba nag-amendment siya ng panahon niya at pinag-usapan natin yun bicameral. Isa-isa in-amend. Ini-extend yung kanyang term ng another two years at pagkatapos niya ano na ang nangyari? Nagkaroon tayo ng amendment sa Constitution pero hindi amendment kundi revision of the Constitution. Buong-buo ibinigay sa atin, kasama na ako doon at ako’y nagulat dahil binabago na ang buong Constitution noong 1971. At nang baguhin na ang Constitution ay ibinato sa tao at sabi Yes or No, taas ang kamay. Yun lang walang discussion at walang pagkakaintindi. Kaya it rather than belong to the people of this country, it was not their dream. It was just also another dream of the people when they also had an appointed Constitutional Commission under the Cory Aquino administration. Without being disrespectful to our friends there who did the Constitution in 1986, unfortunately they were not elected and the fact that it was also reactionary caused us another problem. I did not vote for this Constitution. But I took an oath and that is why I abide by the Constitution. I may not agree with it, in other words in the same manner that we do not agree with each other but we must always respect each other and remember our obligations and duties towards our country first before ourselves.

Quezon does not believe in the absolute right of the individuals. Further, Quezon believed na kailangan ang kapakanan ng pangkalahatan. Yung common good, yung kabutihang pangkalahatan ang siyang mahalaga kay President Quezon. If you do not believe na una ang individuals must have bill of rights, lamang na karapatan lang ng citizenry ang importante. That is why, following Quezon, we drafted the bill of duties and obligations during the 1971 Constitutional Convention and I had the privilege of jockeying that bill with Chief Justice Davide, then delegate Davide and myself when we drafted it. Hindi lang karapatan ngunit tungkulin—Bill of Duties and Obligations.

So today, lumalabas na naman ang pagbabago ng ating Constitution. Ako ay nangangamba sapagkat maraming nagsasalita na Parliamentary. Akala mo biglang magbabago tayo sa Parliamentary. Hindi nagbabago ang tao just because nagpalit siya ng kanyang barong tagalog o ng kanyang amerikana. Ang mahalaga sa tao ay ang pagbabago ng kanyang kalooban at pag-iisip bago tayo magbago. What this country need is not just a change of men but a change in men. Kailangan isa-puso natin ang hinihiling nating pagbabago. Intindihin natin kung saan tayo pupunta because it is always better "To know where we are going and not know how than to know how we are going and not know where." Kaya bago tayo magbago ng Constitution, ang sabi ko nga, wag naman nating saktan ang ating, pangulo, wag naman nating saktan si President Ramos at si Speaker Jose de Venecia at yung mga gustong magbago sapagkat parang lumalabas na palusot yung pagbabago ng Constitution kung ipipilit natin iyan ngayon lalo na at may impeachment. Ang impeachment is only part of the process of a government. We should not really be totally occupied with it na titigil ang gobyerno. Umaandar ang gobyerno ni President Clinton nang siya ay i-impeach at dapat ay wag tayong maniwala sa mga taong nagsasabing dapat ay tumigil na ang gobyerno sapagkat ang kapulisan ay nandyan. May nahuhuili na mga kalaban ng gobyerno. Lumalakad pa rin hindi nga lang kasinggaling katulad din naman ng dati na never na ang gobyerno ay naging kasinggaling ng gusto natin.

Pero dapat isipin natin na kung tayo ay magbabago ng saligang batas ay dapat ipaliwanag muna ng mga taong ibig magbago kung ano ang ibig sabihin nang tinatawag nilang Parliamentary o Presidential sapagkat ang iniisip ko bago tayo magsalita niyan ay tapusin muna natin ang pangangailangan ng bayan tulad ng kakulangan natin sa Edukasyon. Kulang sa paaralan, kulang sa mga guro. Kakulangan natin sa Health. Kulang tayo sa mga duktor. Ang mga duktor nagnu-nurse. Na-shock ako nang magpunta ako sa FEU, 28,000 students enrolled, 26,000 were taking up nursing out of 28,000 people. Kaya nakikita ko at nagugulat ako na para tayong mga daga na tumatalon na lang kung saan hahabulin ng pusa. Kaya nakikita ko mga kababayan na ang kakulangan nating sa edukasyon, sa kalusugan ay kakulangan natin sa pagdala ng bagong investment dito sa ating bayan. We must have the responsibility. Sinabi sa akin kanina ni Mayor Belmonte na si Dick Gordon daw ay the salesman of Subic Bay. All of us must be the salesman of the Philippines. Kapag humarap tayo sa dayuhan dapat pinakikita natin ang ganda ng Pilipinas hindi yung kinukutya natin ang ating sarili. Dapat humahanap tayo ng ating hanapbuhay hindi lamang para sa ating mga sarili kundi para din sa ating mga kababayan na kapus na kapos sa kabuhayan. Hindi iyung nagpapaguwapo tayo at the expense of our own country na akala mo’y marunong ka dahil kinukutya mo ang ayaw mo dito sa bayan. Ang tunay na liderato ay yung pagdadala ng dapat gawin ng bawat mamamayan na mahirap mang gawin ay pipiliting gawin para sa ganoon ay magkaroon ng pagbabago. The hard way is always the best way. Wala tayong tinatawag na quick fix dito sa ating bayan. Kaya sa pagbalangkas sa tinig ng mga hinaharap ngayon, kung magkaroon tayo ng pagbabago, we should finish first the essential things that are challenging our country today and when we handle the Constitution it is important first na bago tayo magpalit kailangan mayroon tayong mga partido na hindi partido ng mga balimbing. Isang partido na kapag ikaw ay umalis ay hindi ka makakatakbo kung ikaw ay lumipat at kung ikaw ay bumalik ay hindi ka pwede i-appoint sa anumang pwesto sa gobyerno kung ikaw ay lumipat for your own convenience. That is why we have filed the bill in the Senate on the political turn-coatism and opportunism that will punish those who will change parties not based on consciencesus objection but based on convenience and opportunism. That is the bill that we have filed just the other day. Also, what do we really want for our country? We always wanted a government that is efficient and Fast. We wanted a government that is Flexible to face the war clouds that are coming. Quezon wanted a Forward-looking country. That is the same things that I have asked the country today. Ang hinahanap natin ay mabilis na paggo-gobyerno at hindi matagal, yung hindi naghihintay ang tao. It must be a friendly government. Naiintindihan ng tao ang patakaran at hindi yung kailangan kang maglagay para umandar ang gobyerno. It must be Friendly to the community. It must be Fair. Dapat parehas at hindi dinadaan sa sa titulo o yaman pero sa merit. It must be Flexible. Kaya natin magpalit kaagad at hindi rigidly imposed para sa ganoon kung may paghamon ang panahon, kung lumipat ang Fedex at UPS sa Subic at Clark at lumipat sa China ay mayroon tayong gagawin kaagad na mga batas para sa ganoon ay makakilos tayo kaagad at hindi tayo nakatunganga palagi. A government must be Forward-looking, it must be always be looking at the challenges ahead. Not looking backward. Every time we go abroad, we say naiiwanan tayo. Naiwanan tayo ng Singapore—a Singapore that is only as big as Subic Bay. A Singapore where we can put 18 Singapores inside the province of Negros. Kayang ipasok ang 18 Singapore sa Negros pero tinatalo tayo ng maliit na bansa.

It is time not to look at the past. Napag-iiwanan tayo. It is time to give change a chance and to prevail not just to survive but to get ahead in the game. And to do that, if you want to change the Constitution dapat mabilis ang papalit na gobyerno dyan at hindi iyung gobyerno na para sa iilan kundi gobyernong mabilis, lalakad. Katulad halimbawa sa pagboto, dapat ang pagboto ay malinaw, mabilis bilangin kaya we want block voting because we do not want people to vote based on popularity alone. We want the people to vote on platform of the political party hindi lamang yung kagitingan o kagandahang lalaki ngunit sa mga idea na magaganda. That is why kailangan segurong baguhin natin ang Comelec. Baguhin natin ang electoral process natin. If ever na kapag nanalo si mayor kasama na si vice mayor. Dapat seguro i-redistrict natin yan para sa ganoon 50 na lang ang barangay dito at yung nanalong barangay captain yun na rin ang konsehal ng bayan para makatipid tayo at mas mabilis madala ang ating bayan at hindi magastos ang pamumulitika. If ever, municipal mayors to become provincial board members. Hindi na tayo maghahalal ng sampung bokal. Maghahalal na lang tayo ng mayor na uupo sa provincial government nang sa ganoon ay dala nila ang problema ng munisipyo at dala din ng barangay captain ang problema ng barangay doon sa munisipyo kapag sila ay nagmi-meeting.

I favor a bicameral system sapagkat hindi natin maaalis na dapat ay may malayong paningin at pananaw ang mga pinuno upang mabalansiyado ang pananaw ng mga congressman na bagamat may malayang pananaw ay may pressure sila sa local na magbigay ng mga biyaya sa kanilang locality kaya kung magkaminsan kailangan i-balance ng bicameral system and I favor that the mayor, governor of a particular area for example Metro Manila or Central Luzon must meet 50 times at a regular session para sa ganoon yung 50 days na yun ay mailagay nila kung ano ang vision nila at samasama silang mag-uusap. At pag-uusapan nila kung ang vision nila ay palakasin ang port of Manila o palakasin ang port of Subic and Clark at magkaroon ng 3-2-1 na tinatawag na tatlong(3) airport at dalawang(2) seaport na magkakasama at maglagay ng industrial park sa bayan bayan. Yan ang magiging batayan ng paglalagay nila ng budget na ibibigay nila sa kanilang congressman na dadalhin naman sa Kongreso yung mga panaginip nila at tiyak madadala yung tinatawag na panaginip ng region at para sa ganoon ay matuto na tayo na hindi tayo parochial na pansarili lang ngunit pangmalawakan ang ating pag-iisip.

And I favor that the president can be removed no longer just by impeachment but by a ¾ vote on the Senate and a ¾ vote of Congress. Kung siya ay magkamali ay magpahalal kaagad. Six years ang term mo and in the middle of your term you can have a recall, a contested recall like California na kapag natalo yung nire-recall ang papalit ay yung naghamon na partido. All this must happen within the confines of a two party system of not just a two party system, a multi-party system of party-lists pero under the two dominant parties that must get the support of the government. Hindi umaasa sa mayayaman at malalaking nilikha dito sa ating bayan ngunit binibigyan ng gobyerno ng pabuya. Tayo ang nagbibigay ng kontribusyon hindi lamang ang mayayaman. At transparent ang ibinibigay na contribution para makikita kung mayroon mga interes na pinuproteksiyunan ang mga partido. At kapag iyan siguro ay nagawa natin baka sakali kung mayroon tayong party system ay magkakaroon tayo ng mga ideyolohiya katulad ni President Quezon, alam niya ang kanyang mga agenda -- independence not only politically but economic independence on a secure country based on a strong national defense and a strong citizenry that performs his duties and responsibilities more than just its rights.

In the final analysis, we must live Quezon today. 127 years ago Quezon was born, 51 years ago he died. Every year thereafter we are celebrating his life here in Quezon Memorial. You have the most imposing structure that I ever saw built in the Philippines. Noong araw Welcome to Quezon City ang natatandaan ko ngunit ng itinayo ito, nagulat ako sa galing at ganda nito sapagkat parang ito ang Grand Central Park kung ito ay ihahambing ninyo sa New York parang ito talaga ang Grand Central Park ng Metro Manila.

Like Rizal, Rizal day, nagtatalumpati tayo pagkatapos nating umalis ay nakalimutan na ang napag-usapan at balik tayo sa dati. Parang mga Sunday Catholics, nagsisimba sa Linggo pero Monday to Saturday kung saan-saan napupunta. Doon sa mga lugar na hindi dapat puntahan at pag-uugali na hindi dapat gampanan. It is time that we change. It is time to change the rules. Every individual must carry the community just as Quezon did.

Mayor Sonny Belmonte of Quezon City ay hinahamon kayo palagi na tumulong. We must realize that we have to contribute to the betterment of our country. That government can’t give you biyaya kung hindi tayo magbabayad ng ating mga realty estate taxes, ng ating mga business permits at income taxes. In other words, we can only be as strong as we are being individuals. We can only be strong as what we contribute to the community and the totality of that contribution represents the community working together. If you do that then I believe this country indeed claims not just to prevail, it will overcome and it can become the greatest country here in Asia. I firmly believe that.

Pabayaan ninyo lang ako na ipagmalaki sa inyo ng kaunti yung nangyari sa amin sa Subic. Tinamaan kami ng Pinatubo, giba ang mga ospital at eskuwelahan. Imbes na magdasal lamang kami sa Panginoon sabi ko sa mga tao umakyat kayo sa inyong mga bubong at magdala kayo ng pala at magdasal kayo sa Panginoon sapagkat pagpapalain nya kayo. At ayun pinag-pala nga sila. Naubos at natangal ang abo sa bubong ng bahay nila at nabuhay sila. Pagkatapos nun, dinagukan kami ng pagpapaalis ng base. Wala na kaming hanapbuhay. Everyone, relied on the US base. Ano ang nangyari? Did we give up? Did we blame the Magnificent 12 Senators na nagsabing paalisin ang base? No. It is easy to remove anything. It is easy to say na alis ka dyan pero yung kapalit ang siyang mahina. Sinong gumawa noon? It was not President Ramos. It was not Dick Gordon. It was not Kate Gordon who was the congresswoman then that filed the bill in Congress. It was the people of Olongapo who volunteered. It was young people who came from Wharton, double summa cum laude, from Standford, from Harvard School of Law, from Ateneo, UP, FEU. It was the people who worked in the base. Yung mga Red Crosses, teachers, Girls Scouts, Boys Scouts na tumulong bantayan ang karangalan ng ating bayan at hindi pinayagang manakaw ang Subic. Wala pang isang taon nakatindig ang Subic. Wala pang tatlong taong dumating na ang mga hanapbuhay, turismo, Fedex, ang lahat ay dumating. By the time we finished, APEC was held there in 1996. Doon dumating ang lahat ng president ng APEC. Can you imagine that? If I told you that sasabihin ninyo siguro nagyayabang ako kung hindi nagawa iyon. But the truth of the matter is nagawa ng mga kababayan ninyong Pilipino iyan not because they are from Olongapo but because nasa kanilang puso ang tiwala ni President Quezon sa kakayahan ng Pilipino. Na ang Pilipino kapag may gagawin ay hindi iisipin na “Naku mahirap iyan.” Hindi iisiping biktima siya kundi gagawan ng paraaan ng mga Pilipino ang kanilang dapat gawin ng hindi naghihintay sa kanilang presidente, governor, mayor, congressman o senador. Gagawin nila sapagkat ‘yun ang kailangan sapagkat alam nila na kung hindi sila kikilos sila ay malulunod. Hindi umaasa kaninoman. May malasakit, kusang-loob at may kapwa-tao sa lahat.

And to me that is the essence of Quezon. That is the essence of a Filipino—a true Filipino who believes. So ladies and gentlemen, today let me close this wonderful occasion, this great honor and opportunity that you have bestowed upon this humble representation of being able to share with you the ideas that I have learned not only from Quezon but from all our leaders, from our parents, schools, community and if you cannot learn anymore from that community then nobody has the right to stand up before you here. You cannot even go to your parents and go back to your children and say “I can also share my ideas with you.” We have to learn to believe, to believe in our country. To have faith. And if we do so, I think 50 percent of the problem will have been overcome and I think the next half will be “Lets go ahead and do it.”

Today, ladies and gentlemen I close by citing perhaps once more, words of Alfred Lord Tennyson when he said “Come my friends, it is not too late to seek a newer world. For my purpose holds beyond the sunset and though we may not have that heart we should always move earth and heaven that is what we are. What we call temple of heroic heart made weak by time of faith but still strong in will to strive, to seek, to find and not to yield.”

Mabuhay ang alaala ni President Quezon. Mabuhay ang Pilipinas.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Energy Crisis, Garci Flight and FedEx Departure Interview Transcript -8/18/2005


GORDON: I am supportive of that. I have been suggesting this since last year. I have seen what other countries have done like in Thailand, to prepare for the energy crisis. And I think it is important that in this crisis we are quick-footed and quick-willed as well because kung babagal-bagal tayo dyan, mahihirapan ang tao. Kaya kailangan bigyan na natin ng takdang emergency power ang Presidente para kung kinakailangang magpaganap siya ng mga bagay na kailangang gawin ukol dito sa krisis sa koryente at gasoline ay magawan kaagad ng paraan.

INTERVIEWER: What are the parameters?

GORDON: Well, obviously there will be parameters. We will wait for the proposal from Malacanang. Halimbawa, kailangang mag-rationing, matagal ‘yan kung magbabatas ka. Kailangan magkaroon ka ng tinatawag na car-pooling. Kailangan natin ng mga bicycle lane sa mga certain areas. Kailangan natin na may oras ng pagpatay ng koryente. Yung mga ganyan bagay dapat pwede nang isagawa iyan pero kung sasabihin natin na aabot sa ibang lugar ay hindi naman seguro pu-pwede iyan. Maganda na rin na sabihin ng Malacanang kung ano ang mga proposal nila at palagay ko marami namang sasang-ayon dahil kailangan talaga ang pagkakataon iyan.

INTERVIEWER: Pero sir, kailangan pa ba ang emergency power considering the legislation that we have already? That they not already are within the scope of the executive…?

GORDON: There will always be certain instances seguro na kakailanganin iyan. Kung biglang tumaas yan, ako pini-predict ko nga na ‘yang langis baka umabot ng $100 kapag sumipa ang India. Ang China lalong lumakas and konsumo kaya tumataas ang halaga ng langis, wala na tayong kontrol sa paglilimit nang paggamit ng koryente at fuel. Sa mga opisina ng gobyerno ay dapat talagang malinaw iyan. Obviously, you can not cover all pero as much as possible we should a have the leeway anyway this is an emergency. Parang giyera iyan. Kailangang makagawa tayo ng mga dapat na ipaganap kaagad at kung may kailangan ay saka natin pag-usapan sa Kongreso kung kailangang i-limit natin. But in the meantime na nangyayari na iyan, bigyan mo na lang siya ng emergency powers. Ilabas niya ang emergency power at rebyuhin (review) natin at isasagawa ang mga limitations kung inaakala nating may limitations. So babagal na naman tayo kung magde-debate na naman d’yan.


INTERVIEWER: Confirmation is out already from the Singaporean government that Garcilliano was able to flee from the Philippines. Should agency official be held liable for…?

GORDON: Iyan ang problema natin, our borders are very porous. Kung sa Subic ay lumabas iyan dapat imbestigahan yung mga awtoridad sa Subic kung papaano nakalabas ang mga taong iyan. Bakit nakakalabas doon? Nangyari na rin yan di ba doon sa sinasabi nilang dalawang aide ni Senator Lacson. Yun dalawang police colonel ba yun na nakapunta sa Amerika? Kung ginagamit nila iyan dapat bantayan natin yung mga awtoridad sa Subic ng Immigration at ng Airport authority doon para sa ganoon ay maipaliwanag nila kung paano sila nakakalusot at nakakagawa ng ganyang bagay. Yun dapat ang imbestigahan ng Kongreso.

INTERVIEWER: Sir, ano po ang maihahabol natin sa kanila?

GORDON: Wala pa kasing naka-file na kaso laban kay Garcilliano kaya hindi mo pwedeng extradite iyan unless mag-file na kaso ang oposisyon o sinumang sangay ng gobyerno. Mangyayari iyan kung halimbawa’y kakanselahin ang passport niya. Pwedeng kanselahin o kaya i–extradite siya dahil may kaso na. Magagawa natin iyan pero syempre, right now, sa dami-dami ng security sa Europe ay madaling makuha iyan kung talagang kukunin dahil nag-iingat ang buong mundo sa terorista. Makukuha iyan kung kailangang kunin.

INTERVIEWER: May hold departure order sa House?

GORDON: Wala naman hold departure order sa Immigration. Maaaring huli na iyon dahil mukhang lumabas na ito (Garci) noon pa. Two months ago na diba? Wala pa yatang hold-departure order kay Garcilliano noong mga panahon iyon.


INTERVIEWER: Doon sa FedEx bakit nakaalis?

GORDON: Well, we ought to know that something like a FedEx or UPS will always be wooed by other countries because we wooed them away from Macau, Taiwan, and Okinawa during the days of competition in the 1990s that we were trying to get it. So when you have a Fedex, you should really take good care of it not only by making sure that the rules stay in place that we agreed on, that the accommodation that were given to them are strictly followed but also to try and make sure that more investments should have come in to Subic and to Central Luzon so that they would have business to justify their existence in Subic. But obviously, I knew from the very beginning that we could lose them to China because I was asked by Chairman Smith when we were negotiating about China and its intentions. The other opportunity loss in the FedEx system, while FedEx was there, we got companies like Acers and other industries that deal heavily on Air-cargo. That should be have been done. Apparently it was not done so nawalan ng interes sila. Ganoon ang nangyari, nakulangan ang merkado at nakulangan din ang alaga. May balita pa nga ako na yung bahay ng isang FedEx manager ay kinuha ng chairman ng Subic noong paalis na siya. Nilabas ang gamit doon at siya ang pumasok doon sa bahay na nakataya sa FedEx. Parang napikon doon ang FedEx.

INTERVIEWER: Saka may problem sila sa inside job, may special report kami(ABS-CBN) doon tungkol sa mga packages na nababawasan.

GORDON: That is correct. In other words napabayaan talaga.


Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Charter Change and Bicycle to Conserve Energy Interview Transcript -8/16/2005


GORDON: Marami dito ang papayag kung after the impeachment. Tapusin muna ang proseso ng impeachment para sa ganoon ay hindi nagugulo at nabubulabog yung Constitution. Pangalawa, malinaw na malinaw na mas dapat na gawin ang Constituent Assembly. Para sa akin, because kung gagawin natin ay biglaang babaguhin ang konstitusyon ng buong-buo, isang “Yes or No” lang iyan. Hindi maisasa-puso at maisasa-isip ng tao yung tinatawag nating pagbabago.

Mas maganda ‘yung first amendment, katulad sa Amerika, first amendment muna ang ibibigay para malinaw sa tao at kapag nag Yes sila doon, then second amendment. Hindi mo na kailangang i-convene palagi yung Constitutional Convention. By amendment dapat iyan, kase galing na ako sa Constitutional Convention. Kapag pumunta tayo sa Constitutional Convention, buong-buo iyan. Papakialaman ng lahat iyan at bago i-submit iyan sa tao ay buo na. Hindi mapag-aaralan ng tao kaya never had we have a Constitution that the people really own, except ‘yung 1935 Constitution sapagkat unang-una iyon at ‘yun 1940 amendment na ini-extend ‘yung term ni President Quezon at saka naging bicameral ‘yun Kongreso natin.


INTERVIEWER: Pabor ba kayo sa paggamit ng bisekleta?

GORDON: Yes. Matagal ko nang pinu-propose yan noon pang mayor ako sa Olongapo sapagkat sanay kami noong magbisekleta patungo sa base military ng Amerikano. Sa Subic gumawa rin kami ng bike lanes sa industrial zones. Ang Manila ay hindi naman ganoon kalakihan, seguro kung ilalagay mo yung mga bike lane, yung malalapit ang trabaho ay mas makakatipid. Ang kailangan mo lang dyan ay bagong istraktura kung saan mo igagarahe yung mga bisekleta sa pabrika at ‘yung mga lane na ilalagay mo ay gaano kalapad.

Sa tingin ko mas makakabuti sa atin ‘yan. Ang nangyari kase sa atin ay inasinta kaagad ng mga Filipino na magka-kotse at magka-jeep bago magkaroon ng negosyo. Sa China, Vietnam o sa Malaysia, nauna muna ang bisekleta para pumasok sa trabaho at pagkatapos ay unti-unting nakapag-ipon sila at nilalagay nila ang kanilang naipong pera sa hanapbuhay nila.

Sa atin, inasinta kaagad natin na magkaroon ng kotse at ang nangyari yung ipon natin ay hindi naipasok sa pagkakakitaang negosyo. Ngayon kung ikaw ay hindi na nakikipag-unahan doon sa kapitbahay mo sa kotse at pagandahan na lang ng bisekleta ang labanan, mayroon kang malaking savings na imbes na gugugulin mo sa langis ng kotse ay pwede mong gugulin iyan sa paglalagay ng maliit na tindahan o paglalagay ng maliit na negosyon para sa ganoon ay mas kumita ka pa. Bawas ka na sa gastos sa gasolina, lamang ka pa sa kikitain at healthy ka pa. In Europe and China ay talagang ginagamit ang bisekleta. Security lang ang kailangang ibigay mo d’yan para sa ganoon ay maging maayos.

INTERVIEWER: Sir, gaano kaya kadali yung magtayo ng bike lane?

GORDON: Madali iyan, sa tingin ko, you can set aside one whole lane on either side at luwagan mo ang kalsadang pang-bisekleta talaga. Lagyan din ng color-coding ang bisekleta para walang nakawan ng bisekleta. Mula sa Quezon City to Makati kayang-kaya mo yan sa bisekleta.

INTERVIEWER: Sir kayo pwede ba kayong mag-bike?

GORDON: Yes. I can handle that. Bicycle is a very good idea for Filipinos. Tipid pa yan.

The other thing that we proposed when I was the Tourism Secretary was we convert all the diesel plants to natural gas which is being done in Brazil, so if we can do that here malaking tipid yan. Marami akong proposal noon, pati yung neon lights – 9 o’clock wala na. Maging yung air conditioning, patay na pagsapit na 5 pm.

INTERVIEWER: By 9 pm lights out, paano yung mga ….?

GORDON: Then they should pay more.