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

Friday, August 01, 2008

On Giuliani P22,000/seat

VIDEO: http://www.inquirer.net/vdo/player.php?vid=1301

MANILA, Philippines -- They are both lawyers. They were both mayors who cleaned up their dirty cities. They both led their constituents during a disaster. And they both have RG for initials. All this Senator Richard Gordon pointed out but said that he might be better than former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani.

"All I am saying is, we have comparative accomplishments. Pero baka naman mas marami tayong krisis na nilagpasan at pinagtagumpayan…RG siya, Rudy Giuliani, Italyano iyan eh. Ako Richard Gordon, Amerikano, Gordon. Pero pinili ko maging Pilipino pero siya pinili niya maging Amerikano [But maybe we survived and overcame more crises…He's RG, Rudy Giuliani, an Italian. I am Richard Gordon, American. But I chose to be Filipino, while he chose to be an American]," he told reporters.

Giuliani spoke before government and corporate VIPs at the Makati Shangri-La Hotel Tuesday and called for transparency in government. He said Filipinos should elect someone they could trust.

But Gordon said paying a hefty price to hear Giuliani speak did not make sense because the Philippines has a lot of heroes.

"Bakit tayo magbabayad ng $22,000 per seat? Marami tayong bayani dito, mga lider na subok sa crisis [Why pay $22,000 per seat? We have a lot of heroes here, leaders who are tested by crises]," he said.

Gordon said that while he admired Giuliani for his composure and leadership during the 9/11 terror attacks in New York, the senator pointed out that he handled more disasters -- the Pinatubo eruption, the departure of the Americans from the former Subic Naval Base, and even the Ormoc, Leyte flashfloods.

"Bilib ako kay Giuliani at that particular moment in time nuong nagging mayor siya at nuong tinamaan ng 9/11 ang New York. Magaling talaga siya [I admired Giuliani at the particular moment when he was mayor and New York was hit by 9/11. He's really good]…I can understand where he's coming from," he said.

But Gordon reiterated that he has accomplished more, enumerating them thus: "Lahat ng disaster napuntahan ko. Napaganda natin iyong base, tinanggal naman tayo. Nagbakasyon tayo, nagturismo tayo, umangat ang turismo. WOW Philippines, Intramuros, lahat sumikat. Naging presidente tayo ng international organization ng tourism, PATA. Umalis ako sa turismo, nilagay ako sa Senado at Red Cross [I have gone to all disasters. We were able to improve the base, although we were removed there. We went on vacation, we went into tourism and tourism improved. WOW Philippines and Intramuros, all became popular. We became president of the Pacific Asia Travel Association. After tourism, I joined the Senate and the Red Cross]."

Boasting of his achievements, the president of the Philippine National ed Cross said the PNRC now has a fire brigade with 10 fire trucks and would soon have ambulances and rescue trucks.

Gordon says he's better than Giuliani
By Veronica Uy
First Posted 16:30:00 07/31/2008


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