Unfazed by recent bombings, Gordon goes to Basilan
(Isabela City, Basilan)—Bagumbayan Party presidential bet Sen. Richard J. Gordon did not let recent bombings in Basilan stop him from going to the island to talk with the people and present his platform.
Gordon was not only the presidential candidate who saved hostages in Basilan, but he was also the only one who brought his campaign to Basilan, where a series of bombings, including an attack on the Cathedral occurred this month.
“Ako lang ang tumatakbong presidente na pumunta dito sa inyo. Hindi ako katulad ng iba na natatakot dahil magulo daw dito. Paano mo maaayos ang peace and order situation dito sa Basilan kung hindi mo pupuntahan,” he said at a town hall meeting held yesterday (April 21) at the Basilan State College.
“The bombings are just isolated incidents. I have been to Basilan several times and it has always been a peaceful town. What is needed is for the government to give attention to the province so that it would develop and its people will be uplifted. We should develop Basilan’s tourism industry and create a Freeport zone here,” he added.
In 2000, Gordon saved a number of hostages from the clutches of the Abu Sayyaf. Some of them attended the town hall meeting and committed to support Gordon’s presidential bid. Christinely Diva and Nova Verallo were not in the event but their relatives were there—sister Leonilyn and father Birang, respectively.
Gordon pointed out that in order for the country to progress, people should shed their regionalistic attitude.
“We should always think as one nation. Dapat isipin natin na Pilipino tayong lahat, hindi yung Kristyano kami, Muslim kayo. Lahat tayo magkakapatid,” the Bagumbayan standard-bearer said.
“We just have to give our Muslim brothers respect, understanding and acceptance. And there should be effective governance,” he added. (30)