The Vote 2010: John Carlos Gordon de los Reyes

The Vote 2010: John Carlos Gordon de los Reyes
The Philippine Star

John Carlos Gordon de los Reyes

Ang Kapatiran Party

Campaign slogan: Integrity

Born Feb. 14, 1970 in Mandaluyong

Married to Dunia Valenzuela, artist

Children: Gabriel, 11; Santiago, 8; Barbara Therese, 6

Elementary: Ateneo de Manila, 1976-1984

High school: La Salle, 1984-1988

College: Bachelor of Arts in Theology, Franciscan University, Ohio, USA 1989-1993

Graduate Studies: Master of Science in Business Administration, University of the Philippines-Diliman, 1995-2000; Bachelor of Laws, Saint Louis University-Baguio, 2001-2005

Father: Antonio de los Reyes†

Mother: Barbara Gordon de los Reyes

Parents and background

Other families/children with other women: None.

Major surgeries: Appendectomy in 1978 and tonsillectomy in 1980.

Last BP taken: 120/80.

Smoker? No.

Medications/Vitamins: Vitamin C.

Ever consulted a psychiatrist? No.

Advisers: Members of the party, Fr. Albert Alejo (security), Dr. Antonio Torralba (education)

Campaign budget: P10 million since 2008. We call it political evangelism.

Who is running your campaign? The party leadership.

How will you repay campaign donors, or recoup personal investments in your campaign? We only have simple individuals and groups who give us money.

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

My wife, Dunia Valenzuela de los Angeles. She will be at the heart of programs for social services.

Role of the vice president?

To head the labor department (referring to Dominador Chipeco Jr., Ang Kapatiran VP candidate.).

Cabinet appointments?

There is a need to allow not so well known personalities to serve the government.

Will any of your relatives serve as your confidential staff? No.

Who is your fashion stylist/barber?

I’ve had the same barber for the past 15 years, Jun from Olongapo. He charges P40 but I pay him P100.

Do you watch pirated DVDs?

I discipline myself not to buy pirated stuff.

Did you take drugs?

Yes. I tried, a long time ago, marijuana. This was when I was 15 or 16. No rehab.

Economy/Trade/Finance

How will you increase FDI and local investments?

Peace and order. There can be no genuine sustainable development if there is no peace and order.

What country is your model for economic development?

No particular country. But there are best practices in Norway, Singapore, US and Thailand.

How would you lower power cost and improve energy security?

Power cost is high because of corruption.

Alternative energy policy.

It will be a priority.

Infrastructure priorities and how to fund them.

I will continue the policies of this administration in infrastructure development.

New taxes? Other priority tax policies.

I’ll stick to the present tax regime. I believe we don’t need to impose more taxes.

Bigger tax incentives for investors?

No. I would prioritize local industries and local consumption.

Economic sectors for priority development.

Agriculture, labor. I see the need to protect workers’ rights.

Creation of a new Department of ICT?

Yes.

Are we ready for free trade?

No. Historically we’ve learned that we can’t fight a gun with a stick.

Should foreigners be allowed to own land?

As a general rule, no. But after consulting with economists, we are open to allowing foreigners to own land for their homes and businesses.

OFW deployment – boon or bane?

Reverse the labor export policy. Our goal would be to bring them back, but that is a tall order. We need to make sure that we are prepared. If it takes us 50 years, then let’s start the ball rolling because the social cost is so high.

Benefits of growth to the grassroots?

Ease of doing business in the barangay level. I believe in micro, small and medium enterprises.

Mining and exploitation of natural resources.

Revisit the Mining Act. Temporary moratorium to review all mining claims and mining rights. I’ll fight for community welfare.

Stimulate manufacturing and exports.

Focus on new products for the government to buttress its policy for industrialization.

Can we be self-sufficient in rice?

The no. 1 need of farmers is irrigation, plus a support system for farming. We should definitely go for sustainable rice production.

Agrarian reform.

The stock option is a shame. I will work for genuine distribution of lands.

How to improve corporate regulation.

By personally not investing in any corporation and I’ll ask my Cabinet to refrain from doing it.

How will you stop smuggling?

All executives have intelligence funds and have powers and resources to do what they have to do. If there is smuggling, it is because it is tolerated.

Support for R&D in key industries.

Definitely. R&D is vital in any industry but because of lack of funding it is a neglected area.

Bank secrecy laws and money laundering.

I am willing to waive my rights to the Bank Secrecy Law and I would encourage my partymates to do the same. We should lead the way to a more transparent government.

National Security

Peace in Mindanao.

I will lead the negotiations, sit down with the rebels. Real peace will be achieved if Malacañang will be more consultative than prescriptive.

Policy on communist rebels.

The government should be sincere, have moral ascendancy. Bring progress to the countryside.

AFP modernization: Plans and funding.

If AFP modernization will mean building more arms, that’s not my idea. Modernization focused on the social needs of soldiers.

The revised National Defense Act, and president’s role in promotions in AFP.

It is my moral obligation to make sure that the chief executive has a say on the character of the general that is to be appointed, so I do not agree with the appointment simply being a ministerial duty.

Fixed term for AFP chief.

Yes, three years.

Can private armies be dismantled?

It is possible.

Will you retain the CVOs?

I agree with civilian volunteerism, but without arms.

Adopted member of a PMA class?

No.

Importance of US military aid.

US gives us aid but with conditions. If they really want to help us, it should be unconditional. I’d rather that we work for self-sufficiency.

With which other countries should RP have closer military alliances?

We should be a friend to all and an enemy to none. My policy will be to treat all countries with equity and equality.

When the political leadership betrays the public trust, should the military intervene?

It is their duty, when it reaches a point that there is violence involved.

How to stop corruption in the PNP/AFP.

The president should be austere and simple. Commander-in-Chief should clearly state that he will not tolerate corruption, and this should be manifested in his political life and history.

Foreign Affairs

RP’s most important ally.

The United States “as a general rule” and China “in reality” because of the latter’s huge market for Philippine products.

Which country should be a closer ally.

The US “seemingly appears” to be the country’s closest ally, but would rather treat all nations as friends.

Is China a threat, a challenge, a friend?

A friend.

First foreign trip as president.

Restore the country’s “sanity” first before deciding to go on a foreign trip.

Should RP strengthen ties with any particular region?

The Philippines should be friend to all and enemy to none. “Equality and equity” with other countries is emphasis.

RP-US relations under your administration.

Cherish strong friendship with US but mindful of “flawed, dysfunctional” US policies that are inconsistent with RP’s interests.

Philippine claim over Sabah.

“We can’t bite off more than we can chew.” To pursue claim only after the country has matured economically.

Stand on Spratlys.

Promised not to give up claim, saying it’s in the Constitution.

Education, Culture, Arts

Priorities in improving education.

It’s not a budgetary problem but wrong priorities. We need not only more classrooms and teachers but a massive values-based program to resensitize the country – moral values, character building, respect for life and patriotism.

Additional years in grade school and high school.

Yes, but integrate vocational/technical courses so by the time the student graduates at 18, he would be mature enough to enter college or work.

Free universal kindergarten.

I am for it.

Importance of English proficiency in national competitiveness.

There is need to prioritize this in a globally competitive world but not at the expense of the national language.

Role of arts and culture.

The reason why arts and culture thrive in other countries is because they have leisure, unlike Filipinos who don’t have the time. Filipinos should have better lives to fully enjoy the arts.

Health Care

Priorities in improving public health care.

Take care of barangay health centers in terms of medicine and facilities. Focus on preventive health care. Perfect the Philhealth system.

Family planning/reproductive health.

Support natural family planning. Against all forms of modern contraceptives, condoms, ligation, vasectomy.

Keeping doctors, nurses and other health professionals home.

Government should lead the way by subsidizing government doctors, support salary standardization.

Costs of medicine.

Implement the cheaper medicine law. Increase the drugs covered by the law.

Judiciary

Should SC powers be limited?

The powers of the Supreme Court are sufficient.

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

She has to defer to the next president, given the kind of decision-making she has been doing for the last nine years. I will leave it to the courts to decide.

Promote independence of judiciary.

By respecting democratic principles like separation of powers, checks and balances.

Will you invoke executive privilege, and under what circumstances?

Only under extreme circumstances, when national security is at stake, genuinely. But I will refrain because I would like to prioritize transparency and accountability.

Human rights

Murder of journalists and militants.

I really do not see why we cannot stop it. The Alston report says it all. I am shocked that as a nation we cannot do anything about it. Maybe we are just apathetic. There will be no human rights violation in my administration.

AFP/PNP respect for human rights.

Prioritize continuing indoctrination on the need to respect human rights and ask them individually and institutionally to follow the law.

Do we have too much freedom?

My definition of freedom is not doing what you want to do but doing what you ought to do.

Is democracy working for us?

Generally, yes, but we are undergoing such passion that we are experiencing crucifixion and looking forward to a resurrection.

Is the Philippine press irresponsible?

Generally, yes, but there are exceptions.

Have you been treated fairly by media?

No.

Economic rights over civil liberties.

Never.

Environment

How to deal with extreme flooding.

Support and implement the Eco-Waste Management Act, Clean Air Act, Coastal Zone Management Act. Have flood defense system similar to Holland. Build ecological villages.

Policies on climate change.

Government should take a holistic, integral and pro-active stance. Implement environmental laws.

Logging/water management.

Temporary moratorium on all logging concessions and review them. Implement the law on water management.

Sports

Priority of sports development.

Yes. Sports is a unifying factor. This is our experience with Manny Pacquiao. But boxing is not going to be a priority sport in my administration. I do not believe in blood sports. I would rather support indigenous sports like arnis and sepak takraw to promote our national identity.

First-ever Olympic gold under you watch? How?

Yes. After I shall have weeded out and destroyed all forms of corruption in all agencies and sports governing bodies and institutions.

What’s your stand on the following:

Charter change. Not at the moment.

Parliamentary system. No.

Cha-cha mode. Con-con.

Provisions to be revised. Would rather we mature first.

Federalism. No

US troops in Mindanao. Not in favor of having them there.

VFA. Favor renegotiation.

RH bill/family planning/contraception. No to RH bill. In favor only of natural family planning.

Freedom of Information Act/Right of Reply. Yes to first; no to second.

Divorce/marriage expiration. No.

Gay rights/gay marriage. No to both.

Death penalty. No.

Prosecution of GMA for corruption. Yes.

PCGG and Marcos wealth cases. Expand PCGG to cover not just Marcos but all presidents, to be fair.

What can we expect in your first 100 days. Resensitization of the values system of the Filipino people; our problem is moral more than political. Implement a national human resources agenda. Take care of barangay health centers, to focus on preventive more than curative medicine.

Karen Ang

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