Gordon reveals why he’s running
By Edson C. Tandoc Jr., Cathy C. Yamsuan
Philippine Daily Inquirer
MANILA, Philippines—Though he could have just sought reelection to the Senate, Sen. Richard Gordon told a crowd east of Manila Sunday that he decided to run for president because of “a lack of deserving candidates.”
Speaking to reporters and people who gathered around him at the Hamaka festival parade in Taytay, Rizal, Saturday afternoon, Gordon said: “The field is weak. This is why I ran.”
The standard-bearer of the Bagumbayan-Volunteers party said, referring to the other presidential aspirants: “There is someone who is very intelligent but who has no experience. There is a very rich man who will just recoup his campaign expenses if he wins. And there is someone who just inherited a good name.”
Gordon and his running mate Bayani Fernando surprised many people when they filed their certificates of candidacy on the last day of filing last year.
The fact that no political party managed to complete a senate slate, said Gordon, “shows that the parties have failed.”
“A party is an aggrupation of people with an ideology and a plan for government. There are no such parties anymore,” he said. He also frowned on politicians who leapfrog from one party to another.
Gordon himself used to be a member of the Nacionalista Party, but he said he quit after Villar, its standard-bearer, “bought” it.
“I don’t want to be associated with somebody who buys his political party,” Gordon said.
Last week, Gordon addressed the Philippine Business Leaders Forum but ended up in a verbal tussle with a member.
Gordon bristled when one of the businessmen asked why he was running when it appeared that his chances of winning were virtually nil.
Chito San Agustin, general manager of Biotech Philippines Inc., asked Gordon about his chances, saying Gordon was appreciated by “people like us who are educated,” but not “the masa,” who comprise “80 percent” of the voting population.
“I am not going to debase the masa by thinking they cannot understand. I think they do,” replied Gordon, who remains in the single-digit range in presidential surveys
“The reason why I ask that Mr. Senator (is because) the ideals of both of you (and Fernando) are really good,” San Agustin continued.
“But we’re not gonna win, right? You can say it,” the senator cut him off.
San Agustin said, “I really want to help, OK? But the 80 percent out there, the masa that Bayani probably removed (from) the sidewalks are now against him and this is the problem with popularity votes.”