The Vote 2010: Richard Juico Gordon

The Vote 2010: Richard Juico Gordon
The Philippine Star

RICHARD JUICO GORDON

Bagumbayan Campaign slogan: Pagbabago. Sigurado.

Born Aug. 5, 1945 in Castillejos, Zambales

Married to Kate Howell Gordon

Children: Ma. Renee Victoria (Marnie), Amanda Olivia (Ali), Leonard James (LJ), Brian Patrick (Brian), Lilibeth Acar, his ward rescued from a Palawan sea mishap

Elementary: Colegio de San Juan de Letran; Lourdes Catholic School, 1957

High school: Ateneo de Manila High School, 1962

College: Ateneo de Manila University – AB, Major in History and Government, 1966

Other degrees: University of the Philippines, College of Law – Bachelor of Laws

Parents: James Tagle Gordon and Amelia Juico Gordon

Major surgeries: None

Blood pressure: 130/80 (start of session); 130/90 (end of session)

Smoker? No.

Medications/vitamins. Hyzaar (for hypertension) and Vitamin C when I can get it

Ever consulted a psychiatrist? No.

Who are your advisers?

Asked that no names be mentioned.

Who’s running your campaign?

My daughter Marnie and Dion de la Serna.

Campaign budget.

What campaign budget are you talking about?

How will you repay campaign donors, or recoup personal investments in your campaign?

I don’t believe in using personal funds in the campaign.

Who will be your first lady and what role will she play?

Kate. She’s been in public service.

Role of the vice president?

He (Bayani Fernando) is an engineer, so infrastructure. If it’s another VP, I’m prepared to work with him.

Cabinet appointments?

None yet.

Will any of your relatives serve as your confidential staff?

No.

Who is your fashion stylist/barber?

No stylist; barber in Olongapo but I don’t know his name.

Do you watch pirated DVDs?

No.

Economy/trade/finance

How will you increase FDI and local investments?

Fix the country’s social, physical, legal infrastructure.

What country is your model for economic development?

Singapore. Good port operators, industrial parks, roads.

How to lower power costs, improve energy security.

Government should be made to account for power shortage. Learn from mistakes of previous administrations.

Alternative energy policy.

Nuclear power.

Infrastructure priorities and how to fund them.

Break cycle of oligarchy controlling government before investing in infrastructure. Focus on good governance.

Economic sectors for priority development.

Tourism, agriculture, health, education, ICT, intellectual property. Handle corruption, war in Mindanao, climate change.

Are we ready for free trade?

No, but we have to be.

Sectors to be protected/subsidized?

The farmers.

OFW deployment – problem or benefit?

Both a boon and a bane. We get money from them, but at a social cost.

Lack of skilled workers here due to brain drain.

Require high school students to learn a trade by the time they graduate.

Mining and exploitation of natural resources.

Sustainable mining. Should send geologists to other countries to learn more about mining, take advantage of mineral resources.

Agricultural production, agribusiness, tourism.

Subsidize farmers. Upgrade services. Create packages for tourists. Reclaim boardwalk along Roxas Boulevard.

Agrarian reform.

Form cooperatives.

How will you stop smuggling?

Look at the importations and corresponding taxes. Have a 24/7 office of finance.

National Security

Attaining peace in Mindanao.

Prioritize employment and development to remove justification for rebellion.

AFP modernization.

Focus on improving Air Force and Navy. RP should build own ships using funds from expanded tax base.

Will you retain the CVOs?

No. Prefers regular forces.

Adopted member of a PMA class? Which one? Class 72.

With which other countries should RP have closer military alliances?

Favors engagement with neighbors particularly the strong ones. Should not act like a petulant child.

When the political leadership betrays the public trust, should the military intervene? No.

Corruption in the PNP/AFP?

Transparency in bidding and procurement is the answer.

Foreign Affairs

RP’s most important ally is…

The United States.

Which country should be a closer ally?

Friendship with all countries but we need to define what the national interest is, find out how much trade we can do with other countries. Trade, not aid.

Is China a threat, a challenge, a friend?

I don’t think China is an enemy. She’s a friend.

First foreign trip as President?

Whoever invites me. I will, however, prioritize the necessary travels meant to get investments.

RP-US relations under your administration.

More friendly, more firm.

Will you pursue the Philippine claim over Sabah?

Quietly.

Stand on the Spratlys issue.

We will maintain that. There should be cooperation in the effort in the Spratlys.

Education, Culture and Arts

Priorities in improving education.

Teachers are the key. Pay teachers P40,000 but they should deliver.

Additional years in grade school and high school?

Yes, but not now.

Free universal kindergarten?

Yes.

How do you improve English proficiency and how important is it in raising national competitiveness?

Pay the teachers well and you’re going to get English proficiency.

How do you improve national competitiveness?

I will encourage specimens, English or Science specimens, of the cream of the crop of schools.

Will arts and culture be a priority in your administration?

Definitely. History will be a priority.

Health care

Priorities in improving public health care.

Health Education Acceleration Program (HEAP). Raise the salaries of doctors to P50,000 provided they will work and serve in the provinces. Funding will come from text on tax.

Family planning/reproductive health.

Responsible and safe family planning. Free choice. No abortion. Quality population.

Keeping doctors, nurses and other health professionals home.

Raise their salaries so they won’t leave.

Reducing cost of medicine.

Expanded tax base. Make sure Filipinos have the capacity to buy. Get them health insurance.

Judiciary

Should SC powers be limited?

No. Leave it as it is.

Should GMA appoint the next chief justice, and will you respect the appointment?

She cannot. It is illegal.

Independence of the judiciary.

I will not interfere.

Will you invoke executive privilege, and under what circumstances?

Only in matters of national security, and maybe economic security. But not to avoid investigation.

Corruption

Transparency in government.

Ensure participation of the people. Have an office 24/7 so people can call and report wrongdoing. Government and people must be part of the process of change. Enact Whistleblower Law.

How will you deal with corruption.

I will say no. Corruption is not just about stealing, but also about efficiency. The law must be made to work, and act fast.

Prosecution of GMA for corruption.

Be my guest. Guilty or not guilty, we must have closure.

Marcos wealth recovery.

Abolish PCGG. Have the DOJ prosecute, including those in the PCGG. The US robbed us of investigating him. Again, we must have closure.

Human Rights

Murder of journalists and militants.

Command responsibility. Check our laws on motorcycles; crash helmet with plate number for both driver and rider. We did it in Olongapo, we could do it all over the country.

AFP/PNP respect for human rights.

Hold AFP and police responsible. The people gave them power and firearms and they should be responsible and answerable to us.

Economic rights over civil liberties.

Both.The answer is good governance.

Do we have too much freedom? Is democracy working for RP?

It’s very hard to tell… but we have to love democracy.

Is the RP press irresponsible? Have you been treated fairly by mass media?

Yes and no. AC-DC daw yung mga nasa baba… I was complaining earlier… I hope I don’t offend you but I have heard reports… You see I don’t practice “envelopmental” journalism. I guess the way to solve this is to raise their salary. I’m sorry about last time because I was exasperated… but I feel sad that the words I am saying are not given space.

Environment

How to deal with extreme flooding.

Education and resolution. Plan what interventions are needed. Practice evacuation/tsunami drills.

Policies on climate change.

Adaptation. Build more nuclear, hydroelectric plants. Technical intervention must be planned.

Logging/agroforestry/water management?

Massive reforestation. Build more hydroelectric plants and water catchments. Responsible water management.

Sports

Priority of sports development.

Yes. Sports teach us values. There must be a sports program in every school. Intramurals should be encouraged.

First-ever Olympic gold under your watch? How?

It Pacquiao could be a 7-time world champion, then we could do it. Sports program in this country is title-oriented. The job of leadership in sports or politics is to uplift the people.

What’s your stand on the following:

Charter change/parliamentary system

Yes. No.

Cha-cha mode.

Con ass. It’s cheaper.

Provisions to be revised.

Ombudsman should be elected, not appointed. Extend terms of local officials, to 6 years. President, maybe 4+4.

Federalism.

Not now.

VFA/US troops in Mindanao.

In favor.

RH bill/family planning/contraception.

Population should not be excuse for non-development. Free choice. No abortion.

Freedom of Information Act/Right of Reply.

Yes. Yes.

Divorce.

Limited divorce; don’t make it so easy.

Gay rights/gay marriage.

Rights, yes; co-ownership. Marriage, no.

Death penalty.

No.

What can we expect in your first 100 days.

You will feel the change on the first day.

Karen Ang

A plebeian who is trying to make small changes in this world.