Richard J. Gordon
Richard J. Gordon
|Senator of the Philippines|
|Assumed office |
June 30, 2016
June 30, 2004 – June 30, 2010
|Chairman of the Philippine Red Cross|
|Assumed office |
|Secretary of Tourism|
February 12, 2001 – February 23, 2004
|President||Gloria Macapagal Arroyo|
|Preceded by||Gemma Cruz Araneta|
|Succeeded by||Roberto Pagdanganan|
|Chairman and Administrator of the |
Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority
March 13, 1992 – June 30, 1998
|Succeeded by||Felicito Payumo|
|Mayor of Olongapo|
February 2, 1988 – July 23, 1993
|Preceded by||Ildefonso O. Arriola|
|Succeeded by||Katherine Gordon|
June 30, 1980 – April 23, 1986
|Preceded by||Geronimo Lipumano|
|Succeeded by||Teodoro Macapagal|
|Delegate to the |
1971 Constitutional Convention
June 1, 1971 – November 29, 1972
Richard Juico Gordon
August 5, 1945
Castillejos, Zambales, Commonwealth of the Philippines
|Political party||Independent (2004–2009, 2014–present)|
|Spouse(s)||Katherine H. Gordon|
|Alma mater||Ateneo de Manila University (A.B.)|
University of the Philippines (LL.B.)
|Net worth||₱71.2 million|
(Dec. 31, 2019)
Richard "Dick" Juico Gordon Sr. (born August 5, 1945) is a Filipino politician, lawyer, and television presenter serving as a senator since 2016, and previously from 2004 to 2010. He is also the chairman and CEO of the Philippine Red Cross since 2004.
Gordon served as mayor of Olongapo twice: from 1980 to 1986 and again from 1988 to 1993. He gained national prominence as the chairman of the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority during the administration of President Fidel V. Ramos (1992–1998), and as Secretary of Tourism under President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo (2001–2004). In 2004, he was elected to the senate, running with the pro-Arroyo K4 coalition. He unsuccessfully ran for president in the 2010 elections as the standard-bearer of Bagumbayan-VNP. In 2013, he failed to return to the senate, running under the United Nationalist Alliance, but was successful in the 2016 elections, placing fifth as an independent.
Gordon was born in Castillejos, Zambales, the son of James Leonard Gordon, a local politician of half American Jewish roots, who was the second municipal mayor of Olongapo and first mayor of Olongapo when it was converted into a city, and Amelia (née Juico) Gordon, Olongapo's mayor from June 1967 to June 30, 1972.
In 1958 he completed his elementary education at Lourdes Catholic School (now Lourdes School of Quezon City) in Quezon City and Colegio de San Juan de Letran in Manila. He then finished his secondary education in 1962 at the Ateneo de Manila University. He stayed in Ateneo and completed his tertiary education, earning a degree of Bachelor of Arts, major in History and Government, in 1966. After serving as a delegate to the 1971 Constitutional Convention, he successfully pursued a Bachelor of Laws degree at the University of the Philippines College of Law in the year 1975. Gordon joined the Upsilon Sigma Phi fraternity in 1968.
Between 1966 and 1967 he served as a Brand Manager for Procter and Gamble Philippines. As the 1960s came to a close, he aided his mother Amelia in running the government of Olongapo after the assassination of his father James. In 1975, he became an Associate for the prestigious ACCRA Law Offices.
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In the year 1971, while still studying at the UP, he was elected as the delegate of the first district of Zambales to the 1971 Constitutional Convention, which drafted the 1973 Constitution of the Philippines. He was the youngest delegate in the said convention.
In 1980 he was elected Mayor of Olongapo City. During his term as mayor, Olongapo soon became a highly urbanized city by the year 1983. Under his leadership, Olongapo City was converted from being a "sin city" into a “model city” by raising police accountability through I.D. systems, proper health and sanitation, waste management and the strict observance of color-coding in public transport.
In 1986 Gordon and then San Juan mayor Joseph Estrada became allies. Gordon gave way for the Aquino appointed Officer-In-Charge after a formal written directive from the Executive Secretary representing Aquino was issued. In the same year, he joined Philippine Vice President Salvador Laurel in reorganizing the Nacionalista Party around the country. They campaigned for a "No" vote on 1987 Constitution framed by the Aquino appointed constitutional convention. In 1988, he was elected as mayor with the help of the Nationalist People's Coalition, a breakaway of the Nacionalista Party under Eduardo "Danding" Cojuangco.
In September 1991 Gordon led a nationwide rally for the retention of the U.S. Bases in the Philippines. The U.S. naval base in Subic Bay was a major income generating client of Olongapo City. In the same year, Olongapo experienced the greatest volcanic cataclysm of the century when Mt. Pinatubo erupted and dumped 14 inches of wet ash on the city. However, on September 16, 1991, the Philippine Senate voted 12–11 to reject the extension of a bases treaty.
The looming withdrawal of the Americans from the U.S. naval base in Subic meant the loss of over 40,000 jobs for Filipinos who were employed in the said base. Also, $8 million worth of infrastructure left behind by the Americans in the base and was in danger of being looted from outsiders, as evidenced by the looting that occurred in 1991 at the Clark Air Base due to the aftermath of the Pinatubo eruption.
To address the problems beforehand, Gordon led the citizens of Olongapo to mobilize and lobby for the inclusion of a free port concept into the national legislation for the conversion of the U.S. bases. The effort was successful, with the inclusion of the establishment of the Subic Bay Freeport Zone (also known as the Subic Special Economic Zone) in Section 12 of Republic Act No. 7227, otherwise known as the Bases Conversion and Development Act, which was approved on March 13, 1992. Section 13 of the same legislation also provided for the establishment of the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA), which was tasked to administer the Subic Bay Freeport Zone.
On April 3, 1992, Gordon was appointed as the chairman of the SBMA by President Corazon Aquino. By November 24, 1992, the U.S. Navy completed its withdrawal from the facility and its conversion for civilian and commercial use began. Volunteerism and the high civic spirit of the host community marked the pioneering efforts at conversion.
In the 1992 local elections, Gordon was reelected as mayor of Olongapo City by a landslide victory. In 1993, a citizen questioned Gordon's dual duty as mayor of Olongapo City and as chairman of the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority. The Supreme Court decided that Gordon must hold one position. Gordon decided to vacate his position as Mayor and assumed the position of SBMA chairman in full capacity. In the 1995 local elections, his wife Katherine, a three-term Congresswoman, was elected mayor of Olongapo. In the 1996 APEC Summit, 18 world leaders were impressed with the facility and Subic became a new investment hub in Southeast Asia. Bluechip companies like FedEx Express, Enron, Coastal Petroleum now El Paso Corporation, Taiwan computer giant Acer and France telecoms company Thomson SA invested US$2.1 Billion in the freeport reinvigorating the economy and creating 200,000 jobs replacing those lost during the US Navy withdrawal.
In 1998 Gordon resigned as Chairman of the SBMA in order to run for president in the national elections held during that year. However, he eventually backed out from pursuing his candidacy. He was later re-appointed by outgoing President Fidel Ramos as chairman of the SBMA for a new six-year term.
In the 1990s Gordon was a fierce critic of Joseph Estrada due to their difference of opinions regarding the US Naval Base. This was seen as early as 1991, when Gordon refused to let then-Senator Estrada film inside Subic Bay for a movie that criticized American bases in the Philippines.
After winning the 1998 presidential elections in May of that year, newly elected President Joseph Estrada issued Administrative Order No. 1, which ordered the removal Gordon as Chairman of the SBMA. Estrada appointed Felicito Payumo, Gordon's critic and congressman of Bataan as new chairman. Gordon refused to step down, stating that his re-appointment from the Ramos administration gave him civil service protection. The removal process was not easy. Hundreds of volunteers barricaded the gates of SBMA and Gordon locked himself inside the SBMA Administrative Office Building 229. After this, he was dubbed a dictator because of the fact that he rebelled against an executive order. The issue sparked the interest local and foreign press known as the on YouTube.
Gordon filed for a temporary restraining order before the local court. The local court of Olongapo granted Gordon's request but Payumo's party filed an appeal before the Court of Appeals (CA). The CA reversed the local court's ruling and it was affirmed by the Supreme Court. With the Supreme Court decision, Gordon called Payumo and turned over the reins of SBMA at the Subic Bay Yacht Club two months later on September 3, 1998. Together with the Subic volunteers, they cleaned up the facility.
In January 2001 Gordon actively participated in the second EDSA Revolution that led to the removal of Joseph Estrada from the presidency. Newly installed President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo appointed Gordon as secretary of the Department of Tourism. With his experience as a former brand manager of Procter and Gamble Philippines and chairman of SBMA, Gordon placed the Philippines in the international tourism map by actively marketing the Philippines in several tourism expositions and road shows with the Wow Philippines campaign strategy winning awards at ITB and WTM. From 2002, after four years of negative growth and in spite of threats of terror post 9-11, Abu Sayyaf kidnappings, SARS, Oakwood Mutiny, tourism arrival increased heavily. He also encouraged domestic tourism by holding regional events and having provincial destinations showcased at Intramuros and the rationalization of Holiday Economics. He held the position until January 2004.
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In the 2004 national elections, Gordon ran for senator of the Philippines under the Koalisyon ng Katapatan at Karanasan sa Kinabukasan (Coalition of Truth and Experience for Tomorrow) of President Arroyo. He won the election with 12,707,151 votes, which was the fifth highest number of votes from the electorate.
During the 13th Congress (2004–2007), as Chairman of the Senate Committee of Constitutional Amendments and Revision of Laws, he upheld the supremacy of the Constitution at all times. Though he may not have voted for the ratification of the 1987 Constitution, he took an oath to preserve and defend it. He insisted on the lawful process of Charter Change only according to the process set forth in the Constitution. He opposed the method of Constituent Assembly or "con-ass" initiated by President Arroyo and House Speaker Jose de Venecia, Jr., which was possible in the 1935 Constitution but unlawful in the current Constitution, as well as the dubious Sigaw ng Bayan People's Initiative and was one of the triumphant parties in the case of Lambino and Aumentado vs. COMELEC, G.R. No. 174153, October 25, 2006.
He also preserved the separation of powers in government and asserted the Senate's constitutional right and duty to conduct inquiries in aid of legislation against Executive Order No. 464 in Senate, et al. vs. Ermita, G.R. No. 169777, April 20, 2006, and Executive Order No. 1 in Sabio vs. Gordon, et al., G.R. No. 174340, October 17, 2006.
He was also responsible for the passage of Republic Act No. 9369 — or the Automated Elections System to obviate cheating and post election controversies and protests that hound Philippine elections.
On April 9, 2008, Araw ng Kagitingan or Day of Valor in Bataan, President Arroyo signed into law Republic Act No. 9499- Gordon's Veterans Bill. The Filipino World War II Veterans Pensions and Benefits Act of 2008 amends Sections 10 and 11 of Republic Act No. 6948, as amended, by removing the prohibition against our veterans receiving benefits from the United States government. Before the law was signed, the Philippine government benefits of veterans would be revoked once they were granted benefits by the United States government. Because of Gordon's advocacy and persistence, this prohibition is now eliminated, and Filipino veterans will now be able to receive any form of benefit from any foreign government without losing the benefits given to them by the Philippine government.
He was the principal author of the National Tourism Policy Act of 2009 or Republic Act 9593, declaring a national policy for tourism as an engine of Investment and employment, growth and national development that was signed by President Arroyo in Cebu on May 12, 2009 and witnessed by the country's tourism private sector.
On August 5, 2007, Gordon was asked in a radio interview in dzBB if he had any plans to run for president, to which he answered, "Well, I am available". He further elaborated that he plans to form a new political party aimed at pushing for the interest of the Filipinos and that he would run on a platform that is pro-people. His comments were eventually reported the next day on newspapers such as the Philippine Star, Malaya, Daily Tribune and Abante.
Gordon quickly issued a press release on August 6, 2007, to clarify his comments in the dzBB interview. In the press release, he said that he did not declare his candidacy in the interview but merely answered to the interviewer's question regarding the possibility of him running for president. He further said that he would like to focus more on his work at the Senate, the Philippine National Red Cross, and the various causes that he supports.
On April 26, 2009, the Bagumbayan Movement was launched in the Rizal Park and in the Manila Hotel. The movement, which advocated "transformative politics", served to push for the presidential candidacy of Gordon in the 2010 elections. The movement was eventually recognized as a political party by the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) in October 2009
On November 29, 2009, then Metro Manila Development Authority Chairman Bayani Fernando revealed that he and Gordon were having discussions on a possible team-up for the 2010 elections. A few days later, on December 1, 2009, Gordon and Fernando officially announced their tandem during a press conference at the Senate press office in Pasay City, with Gordon running for the presidency and Fernando running for the vice-presidency. During the press conference, they billed themselves as "the transformers" since they intend to "transform the nation". Later in the day, the tandem filed their certificates of candidacy in the COMELEC main office.
On May 11, 2010, Gordon was third to concede the presidential election to Sen. Noynoy Aquino.
Criticisms and controversies
In 2009, Gordon was named as one of the people behind the bribery and protectionism in the construction of a US$120 million casino and hotel in Subic. Gordon was a director of the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) who oversaw the project at the time. In 2013, Gordon was implicated in a ₱200 million fund anomaly in Red Cross where the Red Cross Chief Accountant stated that funds were allegedly misused for Gordon's Baller IDs and "Magic Sing". Gordon also spent ₱ 5 million for a website. On September 6, 2017, During a debate in the Senate, Senator Antonio Trillanes brought up the issue of Gordon's alleged corruption in the Red Cross to the floor and threatened him with an ethics case.
Alleged "control" of sex tourism, drugs
Since the mid-80s, Fr. Shay Cullen, founder of PREDA foundation and a long time critic of Gordon, has vehemently made accusations that Gordon's policies in Olongapo and subsequent SBMA has not been curbing prostitution but simply "controls" it in Subic. Following this, Cullen in his online posts alleges that the corruption and drug trafficking scandals in Subic started because of Gordon, portions of which Senator Hontiveros quoted during a Senate session. On June 28, 2017, Martin Diño, the chair of SBMA, revealed that there is rampant corruption and drugs smuggling going on in Subic where contraband drugs are smuggled in disguised as sugar.
Alleged lawyering for Paolo Duterte
During the Senate investigation on the ₱ 6.4 Billion Drugs smuggling case, Senator Trillanes accused Gordon of lawyering for Paolo Duterte and Manases Carpio, Paolo Duterte's Brother-in-law, when Trillanes grilled witnesses and moved to have Duterte and Carpio appear.
Trillanes has called the investigation panel that Gordon heads as "Committee de Absuelto", due to how every investigation into Duterte's alleged crimes became an opportunity for Gordon to absolve Duterte and his friends from any alleged wrongdoing. The first instance was when Edgar Matobato testified against Duterte and how Gordon ruined the witness's credibility and irrationally dismissed De Lima's accounts because she failed to answer his confusing questions. The second instance was after Arthur Lascanas corroborated Matobato's testimony when Gordon influenced other senator's opinions by also attacking Lascanas' credibility without a full investigation.
Blogs outed Gordon as one of the "seven deadly sens", senators who did not sign Senate Resolution 516 that condemns the spate of killings under the Duterte administration. Gordon, among the senators, defended themselves stating that they were unaware of such resolutions being passed around. Critics have pointed out that they have to be utterly ignorant when almost all of the other senators have been circulating the resolution to be signed for months. Additionally, he defended the proposed lowering of the minimum age of criminal responsibility, which sought to legalize the imprisonment of Filipino children aged 12 years old.
"Gordon PhilHealth Mafia Protector"
Atty. Thorrsson Montes Keith in an interview with ANC alleged that Senator Richard Gordon as Chairman of Philippine Red Cross made an onerous and burdensome MOA with PhilHealth: "Kumbra ang Red Cross ng humigit kumulang 1Bilyong Piso sa PhilHealth!" says Atty. Keith
Following the end of his senate term in 2010, Gordon, together with the late Amelyn Veloso, anchored "Aksyon Solusyon" Mondays to Fridays 10-11am on 92.3 News FM and AksyonTV free channel TV 41(channel 29 in Cebu and Davao). He also co-hosted with Jake Macasaet on "Duelo" Mondays to Fridays 7-8pm on AksyonTV free (UHF) TV 41.
Gordon also hosted his public service program "Lingkod Aksyon" airs every Sunday mornings on Teleradyo (Originally DZMM), with his co host ABS-CBN News reporter & host Henry Omaga-Diaz.
Since 1986, Gordon was elected as governor of the Philippine Red Cross, and spearheaded the rescue, relief and rehabilitation of various disasters from shipwrecks, typhoons, 1990 earthquake in Cabanatuan, 1991 eruption of Mount Pinatubo, 2004 landslides in Aurora, Quezon and 2006 Ginsaugun, Southern Leyte mudslide and the PhilSports Arena stampede. He is currently the chairman of Philippine Red Cross.
|Ancestors of Richard J. Gordon|
- Bayani Fernando, the running mate of Richard Gordon in the 2010 elections
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Richard Gordon (politician).|
- "TABLE SUMMARY: 2019 STATEMENT OF ASSETS, LIABILITIES AND NET WORTH As of December 31, 2019" (PDF). senate.gov.ph. Senate of the Philippines. Retrieved October 30, 2020.
- "Resume of Senator Gordon". Senate of the Philippines. Retrieved February 9, 2010.
- "About Dick Gordon". Archived from the original on February 2, 2010. Retrieved February 9, 2010.
- Torrevillas, Domini M. "Shaping leaders, inspiring change". philstar.com. Retrieved September 2, 2017.
- "DOT - Gordon". Archived from the original on January 6, 2010. Retrieved February 9, 2010.
- Servando, Kristine (December 15, 2009). "Is the Philippines ready for Dick Gordon?". Newsbreak Online. Retrieved February 9, 2010.
- Wallace, Charles (September 16, 1991). "Manila Senate Rejects U.S. Pact". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved February 10, 2010.
- The chairman of Subic Bay, Inc, The Economist, October 7, 1995
- Mydans, Seth (November 23, 1996). "Subic Bay, Minus U.S., Becomes Surprise Success". New York Times. Retrieved February 13, 2010.
- "The Bases Conversion and Development Act of 1992". March 13, 1992. Retrieved February 13, 2010.
- Villanueva, Marichu (June 25, 1993), Ramos wants Gordon as Subic head, Manila Standard Today, retrieved February 13, 2010
- Children of the Sun-Subic Bay: How volunteers saved Subic Bay from Mount Pinatubo eruption, transformed the former Navy Base: Mr Gerald R Anderson. ISBN 9781448629220.
- "Defiant Orbos is Rene veep". Manila Standard Today. February 10, 1998. Retrieved February 13, 2010.
- Battered Subic chief loses appeal to stay, Journal of Commerce, September 2, 1998
- The plot thickens, The Economist, July 11, 1998
- Massage’ diplomacy: House softens position on Con-Ass By Michael Lim Ubac, Juliet Labog-Javellana Inquirer, May 19, 2006
- "Home". Arab News. January 25, 2011. Retrieved October 26, 2015.
-  Archived September 25, 2012, at the Wayback Machine
- Villar, Joey (May 14, 2009). "Smart RP succumbs to tall Iranian squad | Sports, News, The Philippine Star". philstar.com. Retrieved October 26, 2015.
- Mendez, Christina (August 6, 2007). "Gordon starts 2010 presidential derby early". Philippine Star. Retrieved February 14, 2010.
- "Statement of Senator Richard Gordon on Presidential Aspirations". Senate of the Philippines. August 6, 2007. Retrieved February 14, 2010.
- Salaverria, Leila (April 25, 2009). "Party formed to push for Gordon candidacy". Philippine Daily Inquirer. Archived from the original on April 28, 2009. Retrieved February 14, 2010.
- Jumilla, Lynda (April 27, 2009). "Group launched for Gordon's 2010 bid". ABS-CBN News. Retrieved February 14, 2010.
- "Gordon, Fernando announce tandem in 2010 polls". GMA News. December 1, 2009. Retrieved February 14, 2010.
- "Bayani says teaming up with Gordon being discussed". GMA News. November 29, 2009. Retrieved February 14, 2010.
- Calonzo, Andreo (December 1, 2009). "Gordon-Fernando tandem files COCs". GMA News. Retrieved February 14, 2010.
- "Gordon concedes to Noynoy". GMA News. May 10, 2010. Retrieved May 11, 2010.
- Sisante, Jam (February 24, 2009), Gordon, others linked to alleged Subic anomaly, GMA News Online, retrieved September 27, 2017
- Omaga-Diaz, Henry (December 11, 2013), Red Cross funds used for Gordon baller IDs, 'Magic Sing'?, ABS CBN News Online, retrieved September 27, 2017
- Romero, Paolo (September 7, 2017). "Gordon, Trillanes swap accusations". Philippine Star Online. Retrieved September 27, 2017.
- Richburg, Keith (January 21, 1990). "THE GOOD, BAD AND UGLY OF HOSTING U.S. TROOPS". Washington Post. Retrieved September 27, 2017.
- "Cullen's Prophetic words at the Senate". PREDA org. November 28, 2016. Retrieved September 27, 2017.
- "Mention of Cullen in Senate angers Gordon". Philippine Daily Inquirer. December 28, 2016. Retrieved September 27, 2017.
- Depasupil, William (June 28, 2017). "Diño unveils corruption in SBMA". Manila Times. Retrieved September 27, 2017.
- Elemia, Camille (August 31, 2017). "'Committee de absuwelto'? Gordon, Trillanes face off in smuggling probe". Rappler. Retrieved September 27, 2017.
- "It's a 'Comite de absuelto' for Trillanes". www.malaya.com.ph. Retrieved January 22, 2018.
- Tordesillas, Ellen T. "OPINION: Blue Ribbon committee becomes 'Comite de absuelto'- Trillanes". ABS-CBN News. Retrieved January 22, 2018.
- News, ABS-CBN. "Gordon brands Lascañas' testimony as a lie". ABS-CBN News. Retrieved January 22, 2018.
- "Senate Resolution 516".
- Avendaño, Christine O. "7 senators angry at 'prostitution' of Senate resolution". Retrieved January 22, 2018.
- Dick Gordon profile, The Manila Bulletin Newspaper Online; accessed October 26, 2015.
| Chairman of the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority
Gemma Cruz Araneta
| Secretary of Tourism
2001 – 2004