Is Sen. Richard Gordon Corrupt?

Ni Marcial Bonifacio

Mga kaibigan ko, ang mga sumusunod na palitan ng kuro-kuro at pananaw sa pagitan ko at ng isang masugid na taga suporta ni Noynoy Aquino (Leonardo Ruelan Dosdos) ay hango sa nauna kong blog na pinamagatang “Why Richard Gordon Is The Best Presidentiable for 2010.” Tinatalakay nito ang usaping kung tiwali o hindi si Gordon sa gitna ng katotohanang pugad ng katiwalian ang pulitika ng Pilipinas. Sana ay masiyahan kayo at pag isipan ang talakayang ito.

dosdos Leonardo Ruelan Dosdos

Hi. I would like to make a comment about this post.

Everytime I see Dick Gordon on TV and hear him speak and knowing about his track record as a public servant, I always get the feeling that he might be the president that we need. But as I am currently working in Clark Pampanga and I happen to have a few co-workers that came from Olongapo, I am quiet surprised by their feelings towards Dick Gordon.

To start with, Dick Gordon doesn’t seem to have that much approval among the people from ‘gapo’ or Olongapo. Although his achievements are considerable but, according to them, Dick Gordon is still not exempt from being involved in the graft & corruption issues and controversies in gapo.

Sabi nga ng kasama ko ditong taga gapo, “Magaling si Gordon, pero syempre i-aangat din niya ang sarili niya.”

To the outside world, or at least outside gapo, Gordon’s accomplishments are well known, but to the people within gapo they know more.

For me, well, I’m not from Olongapo so I really don’t have that much to say about Dick Gordon. Maybe those are all lies about him or maybe not. But as a registered voter, the no. 1 rule I adhere to in selecting my candidate is that if this candidate is in anyway, even in rumors, linked to a graft & corruption controversy or to any dishonesty in his seat in public office then he will not have my vote.

December 10, 2009 at 7:39am · Like

marcial2 Marcial Bonifacio

Leonardo, Kaibigan Ko, I appreciate your thoughts, pero thus far, I have yet to find any proven allegations of Gordon while he was mayor. In other words, the alleged corruption issues brought to your attention by your co-workers are precisely that—“alleged.” Besides there are many residents of Olongapo who would attest to Gordon’s staunch position against corruption just as his tatay when he was mayor. It is perfectly natural for favorable o prominent politicians to have politcal opponents, especially the ones whose special interests were not served by their opponents. In fact, it is usually the last strategic resort when they either cannot be won over or cannot be defeated with facts. Opponents, then turn to character assassination or discreditation.

However, I generally would share your sentiments, if there were concrete evidence on such allegations, pero for the sake of discussion, I will indulge you. Let’s assume the worst-case scenario that Gordon was, indeed, corrupt as mayor. The question is how corrupt? Next, what did he do in order to serve our kababayans?

In mathematical terms, envision a ratio:

x:y

Let x=the margin of corruption (the negative aspect)
Let y=the quantity of experience and accomplishments (the positive aspect)

It should be favorable to all kababayans to keep x to a minimum and y to a maximum. Ngayon, let’s apply this to red wine.

x:y

Let x=alcohol (the negative aspect)
Let y=the health benefits (the postive aspect)

Reasearch and good doctors will tell you that drinking wine moderately can reduce the risks of lung and upper digestive tract cancer, strokes, diabetes, kidney stones, and arteriosclerosis. Tests and studies with non-drinkers, moderate, and heavy drinkers have confirmed that moderate consumption is the key. In other words, the best way to maximize y and minimize x is to drink red wine moderately.

Ngayon, let’s apply the same logic to Gordon, who has already proven his successful leadership in creating thousands of jobs, revitalizing the tourism industry, aiding victims of natural disasters for 20 years, authorizing a bill (which will modernize & fully automate the 2010 elections), etc. We know from his experience and accomplishments that y would be maximized under his leadership and x would be minute, if it amounts to anything greater than zero.

So, Kaibigan Ko, just as it seems logical and sensible to drink red wine moderately (rather than not at all) in order to derive its health benefits, so too does it only seem logical to support Gordon, whose proven leadership will stimulate the health of RP by creating jobs, promoting the country as the top place for tourism and foreign investments, expanding educational programs for newly created jobs, and fulfilling his vision of raising RP to First World status. In conclusion, instead of settling for a perfectly neutral substance as water, why not drink red wine? So it is if you want the best presidential pick, then choose Dick.

December 18, 2009 at 3:35am · Like

dosdos Leonardo Ruelan Dosdos

Marcial, my friend, it is just right tat you seek proof for such allegations before making your conclusion as any sensible individual would. But let me raise just a few points:

1. Do you really expect our judicial system to have the capability to expose such government officials with their wrong doings? Consider Erap. Consider the Marcoses. Consider the Arroyos. Do you still believe that our justice system is a solid foundation for you to look upon for direction? Or unless you plan to conduct the investigation yourself?

Anyway, let’s say we have these variables:

Let x = your confidence rate on the Philippine Judicial System
Let y = your confidence rate on rumors and allegations

Given that the Philippine Judicial System has proven itself for years and years, from president to president, that it is not trustworthy, not fair, can be bought, can be delayed, and favors the wealthy few, then it would be fair to make x = 50%.

Given that rumors and allegations have no solid basis and may go either way of being a fact or a fallacy. Yet it might also be a good source information (disregarding whether it is true or not) that these rumors and allegations have come from people (not politicians nor political opponents) who are mere citizens of the subject town or district. The fact cannot be disregarded that these people are the immediate beneficiaries of the candidate’s performance in office and adherence to the law. And that these people might (just might) really know something. I guess it would also be fair to make y = 50%.

So our equation would now look like this:

x = y

Does this equation surprise you? It wouldn’t surprise anyone who reads our history.

2. You likened the dilemma of selecting a candidate to evaluating whether to drink red wine or not. I should say you have made a good example. However the solution for this equation can be expounded to achieve a better result or for this case have a higher health benefit rate.

According to your example these are the variables that consists the red wine equation:

Let x = alcohol (the negative aspect)
Let y = the health benefits (the postive aspect)

And according to your calculation, and to which I agree, that y exceeds x and thus makes red wine acceptable to become a regular beverage.

However, what if we add another alternative? Let’s say fruit juices. These would then be the factors:

Let x = negative aspect
Let y = the health benefits (the positive aspect)

Research and good doctors will tell you that y exceeds x in tremendous tremendous amounts. And I’m actually not sure if there is even value for x.

If we compare beverage 1 against beverage 2 then our equation might look like this:

beverage 1:
x = 40%
y = 60%

beverage 2:
x = 10%
y = 90%

This comparison shows that the 2nd beverage’s y is greater than the 1st beverage’s y. At another angle, the 1st beverage’s x is greater than the 2nd beverage’s x.

Therefore it is logical to conclude that fruit juice brings more health benefits and has lesser negative aspects to an individual.

Ngayon, let’s apply these same logic to Gordon. Consider points 1 and 2.

Point 1 states that x = y. Therefore, in the Philippine scenario, trusting in the judicial system is equal to trusting rumors and allegations.

Point 2 states that red wine has health benefits but it also brings negative effects and if one truly seeks for a healthier alternative then red wine is not sufficient.

Now, Point 2’s solution to have another alternative is actually point 1’s solution also. If such a candidate has rumors and allegations of corruption, immorality, dishonesty, etc… then trusting on the justice system is equal to believing on those rumors.

Therefore the solution would be to find another alternative. That means to find another candidate who like fruit juices have much lesser negative aspects and much more positive aspects.

Dick Gordon has a good track record in terms of productivity, innovation, and achievements. However I cannot deny the fact that the rumors of his character are disturbing. The friend of mine I talked about claimed to ba an eye witness to Gordon’s immorality. What he described to me was shocking and would completely tear down my respect to Gordon were I to believe it. He accounted that not only him but a lot of people in Olongapo are eye witnesses as well. Funny that my other co-worker, also from Olongapo, said the same things.

Now these friends of mine are not politicians nor political opponents to Gordon. I also don’t think they will benefit to any allegations against Gordon. They are middle-class citizens who have no affiliations whatsoever to any political party. They are also registered voters.

Let me use your example again that Dick Gordon is likened to red wine. He has great achievements but he also has allegations of misconduct.

So Marcial, my friend, we all have our own prerogative but if one truly seeks for a clean, honest, law abiding administration and one that can implement good governance, then I wouldn’t suggest narrowing your options on Dick Gordon.

December 18, 2009 at 7:16pm · Like

marcial2 Marcial Bonifacio

Leonardo, Kaibigan Ko, I applaud you for a well-presented rebuttal at kahit I cannot contend with your first point on your approximation of the confidence rate in the judicial system and rumors/allegations. However, I did raise the possibility that Gordon was corrupt as Olongapo mayor for the sake of indulging you in your vague, unsubstantiated claim. In spite of this hypothetical corruption, I still insist that Gordon is the best choice specifically for our country and specifically for this time.

If there were any corruption when he was Olongapo mayor, surely the likelihood of it ngayon would be minute, if it exists at all. Just consider that he is Blue Ribbon Committee Chairman and authored the bill to fully automate the 2010 elections in order to curtail voter fraud, and he voted for The Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act (SBN-3532). Also, Gordon was the youngest delegate to the 1971 Constitutional Convention, which makes him a living symbol of our democracy. As Chairman of the Senate Committee on Constitutional Amendments and Revision of Laws, he insisted on lawful charter change unexceptionally as prescribed by the Constitution and has rejected bills, which he believed were unconstitutional, such as Gloria Arroyo‘s declaration of martial law sa Maguindanao.

With Gordon’s apparent upholding of the rule of law and the Constitution it seems very unlikely that such a prudent man with a clearly anti-corrupt agenda would risk following the same fate as Marcos and Estrada. Even if he was corrupt 20 years ago, as mayor, the laws since then have become more stringent and less ambiguous in order to close certain loopholes, which would otherwise favor such politicians. In fact becoming president would make him more susceptible to public scrutiny, which would only force him to act and govern morally for fear of impeachment or public disgrace due to his long-standing image of being patriotic.

As Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority Chairman, after the naval bases were recalled from the area left—practically barren (hardly a year after Pinatubo buried most of Olongapo in ash)—Gordon inspired thousands of volunteers to renovate and convert the wasteland into a primary trade zone. This led hundreds of investors including Federal Express, Coastal Petroleum, BICC Cables, Shell Exploration, Acer Computers, and Thompson Audio to bring in $3 billion worth of investments and nearly 100,000 jobs. The tourism/investment destination was so economically successful that even world leaders as U.S. President Bill Clinton, U.K. Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, and Malaysian Prime Minister Dr. Mahathir Mohammad were impressed. On another note according to BIR Commissioner Joel Tan-Torres, the Arroyo administration no longer plans to balance the federal budget by 2010 due to sluggish tax revenue collections, which could be remedied by Gordon’s job creation programs.

At this time, Kaibigan Ko, we cannot afford to elect someone whose competence and leadership is yet to be proven. Quite to the contrary, what we need is proven leadership, which can stimulate the economy out of the current financial crisis and not only provide disaster rescue, relief, and rehabilitation to victims of natural catastrophes, such as Ondoy and Mayon, pero can also take preventive and safety measures against them for the future. Furthermore, rather than dismissing Gordon for petty things not concretely known, should we not praise him and vote for him based on things which are concretely known and were proven to work in his 20 years of diverse, executive experience (a track record of countering corruption, defending the Constitution, using his knowledge/experience and social skills for job creation and aiding victims of natural catastrophes for nearly 50 years as a Red Cross volunteer—experience and achievements unmatched by any other candidate)?

Ngayon, going back to your fruit juice analogy, while fruit juice may not contain any toxins, in order to derive the maximum health benefits equivalent to a glass of red wine, you must consume not only all of the juices containing the beneficial properties, pero you must also consume them in greater quantities. Kaibigan Ko, we do not have the option of choosing several candidates with diverse experience and achievements to serve as president. We can only choose one, so if you want to give yourself and your loved ones the best long-lasting gift for this Christmas and others to come, then give them one with minimal (pero manageable) toxicity and maximum benefits, which have proven long-term results—red wine. Tell them the benefits of it that they may share it with others, dahil when we have a country of healthy kababayans, then we will have a healthy country, hindi ba? Leonardo, Kaibigan Ko, Maligayang Pasko!

December 25, 2009 at 2:50am · Like

guanlao Carlos Jalijali Guanlao

TO MY KABABAYANG MARCIAL AT LEONARDO
I don’t have the facts about what you two respectable gentlemen are indulging in aside from what I have read and seen on the internet. Neither do I know Mr. Dick Gordon personally. However, from a biblical standpoint, the bible declares that – “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God”. That would mean that we have all sinned and that includes me, you and Mr. Gordon. How immense our ‘sin’ is are measured when we are found guilty of our wrongdoings in a court of law. The word “alleged” means just that, an allegation and unless evidence is provided it will remain as an allegation. I’m not a lawyer but the law states that a person is declared innocent until proven otherwise. If the corruption charges hurled by people who are against Mr. Gordon did not prosper, then I consider the charges as an allegation and that would make him innocent in my point of view. We also have to look at the people who made the charges against Mr. Gordon. Did they or did they not acquire personal or material gain from hurling the charges of corruption against Mr. Gordon. Politics in our country, whether in public or in private practice tends to be dirty because of the so called Filipino crab mentality. Those people below would always try to pull down whoever is on top.
As an ordinary citizen trying to figure out who might be the best candidate to take the helm of governance for this country, I am looking for a leader who has a distinctive character. In our country I find that voter intelligence is rather low. The best of the breed of qualified candidates are shoved off the side in favor of those who are popular, whose family names are into politics for generations, the filthy rich and candidates endorsed as a commodity by well known and well paid celebrities. We tend to liken this election as a popularity contest or a cock derby, or a horse race, where we bet on who is winnable. But looking into these candidates’ records of service and performance to their respective constituents, I find only a few who are a standout. I see that they have served their constituents well and their way of life shows a lifetime of dedicated service to their fellowmen. I will not therefore go for the “lesser evil” choice. I will pick for a president the one who has shown determination in improving the lot of his countrymen. Having narrowed down my choices my friends, I will VOTE for Sen. DICK GORDON.

January 26, 2010 at 6:51am · Like

isa lan Isa Lan

Kaibigang Marcial, I definitely cannot compete with your or Leonado’s line of conversation but if there’s one thing that could be said in the reality of life: We are only human and are liable to commit human error too, at one point in our lives. In the end, what matters most is our realization and acceptance of those impurities with a resolve to better ourselves. Nobody was created perfect….And, if I were to equate that to my criterion for choosing a candidate..I would definitely go for the one…who had worked hard to redeem himself, succeeded in bringing out the best, when all odds were against him…and is still continuously forging the goodwill for every one of it’s citizenry through a better Philippines…Kudos to Senator Gordon!!!

And thank you kaibigang Marcial for sharing this enlightening blog… ;D

January 26, 2010 at 7:01am · Like

marcial2 Marcial Bonifacio

Mr. Guanlao, I agree with you completely that a man is presumed innocent until proven guilty, pero in fairness to Leonardo, he claims that the judicial system, itself, is corrupt. If that is the case, then Gordon may “legally” be innocent, pero sa actuality, he could very well be guilty of crimes, which a corrupt judicial system may not recognize. That is the basis of Leonardo’s rebuttal to my response on Gordon’s “alleged” corruption. That gives Leonardo good reason to believe his colleagues, who claim to be witnesses to Gordon’s “alleged” wrong-doing, regardless of the facts, so I could no longer debate him on that issue. Therefore, rather than persuading Leonardo that Gordon is not corrupt, I emphasized how negligible it would be—that to criticize Gordon for being corrupt would be like criticizing red wine for having alcohol. Just as no seriously health-conscious person should forsake the health benefits of red wine due to the alcohol, no seriously informed voter should dismiss Gordon’s qualifications and accomplishments due to negligible allegations.

January 27, 2010 at 6:07am · Like

raani Raani Paranas

I have a friend who shared the same sentiment with Mr. Leonardo. This time, his “Red Cross” friends told him about Gordon’s “alleged” corruption practices. I reasoned out with myself that if there are red cross volunteers who accused him of that, I also have friends from Red Cross who deny these charges. So what side are we on? The fact of the matter, this friend of mine seem to believe these rumors because they are from a small populi of Red Cross volunteers . Thus, even if only a few of these volunteers said it, he mistakenly accept its authority and take their word because:

1.) They’re his friends
2.) He don’t know the candidate
3.) His Friends were from Red Cross (governed by Dick Gordon)… See More

It is a mundane task to prove these “Corruption Charges” even if they are from someone inside the jurisdiction of Mr. Gordon. We can only rely on “Primary Sources” for the sake of objectivity. Primary sources are original and uninterpreted information. News articles are one example, if you doubt its validity, you can compare it with other news prints with the same story. Rumors are out of this category. We can’t take a single statement as the representation of the whole. Same with these red cross volunteers, we can’t take their accusations as the word of the RED CROSS itself. There are different views inside the RC population and we can’t ignore both sides. We are even skeptical of STAR WITNESSES and WHISTLE BLOWERS, why? because no one else was there who had seen the same thing and even if there were, we doubt of their intentions. It’s that complicated to verify an accusation..yes?

Sadly, Mr. Leonardo, There are no other FRUIT JUICES in the list.

Gordon is the FRUIT JUICE that we need! 🙂

January 31, 2010 at 1:15am · Like

marcial2 Marcial Bonifacio Payag ako, Kaibigan Ko, Raani, pero si Gordon ay red wine, dahil a glass of wine a day is far more beneficial than so many glasses of different fruit juices, hindi ba? Even then, walang comparison.

February 6, 2010 at 1:00am · Like

ann margaret Anne Margarette

Sa tingin ko ang pagpili ng iboboto, parang A-L lang yan sa pagsukat ng yaman ng tao. Strengths-weaknesses, achievements-failures. Absolute advantage and comparative advantage sa economics. Kung anuman ang nagawa niyang masama niya, his achievements top it all. Kaysa naman sa hindi corrupt (wala pang sapat na basehan na hindi talaga corrupt), at wala rin namang nagagawa. Wag nyo nang gawing kumplikado, napasimpleng bagay lang nito, konting gamit lang ng utak ang kailangan. I, too, believe that Gordon is the best choice! GORDON FOR 2010!!!

February 14, 2010 at 1:14am · Like

ferdinand Ferdinand Calantoc Ii dont agree with the “lesser evil” thinking or “more good done than evil”. I am voting for Gordon because He has the achievements and none, nil, zero, clean- history of corruption nor tolerating corruption. The Presidency should not come to the point of choosing “lesser evil” but the best for the seat. That is the message i want people to think when voting for Gordon-Bayani -“They are the best”.

February 17, 2010 at 2:04am · Like

marcial2 Marcial Bonifacio Payag ako, Kaibigan Ko, Mr. Calantoc, pero my debate addresses people who think like Mr. Dosdos and is thus constructed to persuade them on the wisom of supporting Gordon, regardless if he is corrupt or not, kahit walang evidence. It is simply a debate based on logic, which can be used on such people, who are making an illogical vote for Gordon’s opponents.

February 17, 2010 at 2:15am · Like

bryvegs Bryvegs Dela Vega

Ako at buong pamilya ko tubong Olongapo at talagang wala kaming masasabing masama laban kay Sen. Dick Gordon siya ang nagpaunlad ng aming siyudad at nagpaganda ng SBMA ang isang magaling na pinuno ay hindi mawawalan ng kritiko. Kahit saan ka magpunta mayroon niyan pero isa lang masasabi ko dito sa Gapo 8 out of 10 residents bilib at may tiwala kay Dick Gordon siya ang pag-asa ng ating bayan para tayo umunlad. Siya ang magtatayo sa nakadapang bandila ng Pilipinas kaya mabuhay ka DICK GORDON you have our vote…..

February 21, 2010 at 2:46am · Like

sneak Sneak Grazz wala na ako masabi. nabasa ko lahat ng comment nyo. feeling ko nakainom na ako now ng redwine hehehe…

April 27, 2010 at 5:18am · Like

gem Gem Victoria Manzano hehehe.. cheers! thanks MB for this post 🙂

April 27, 2010 at 5:47am · Like

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