The only thing that can make me withdraw my support to Dick Gordon

Published on May 04, 2010

I promised myself not to pollute this blog of any political issues. I love engaging in talks about politics but it has become worse nowadays that it makes me want to puke. Forgive me in swaying away from my usual food entries because I really want to write this before the May 10 elections. Just a little disclaimer, I moderate this blog’s comments so if you would just drop one to insult me or any other voters just because we will not vote for your choice, just save your time. And don’t expect your comment to be published. I don’t want my site to become a political warfare. I have the right to express my own opinions and you are expected to respect them. This is my site after all. :)

The presidential election is just a few days away. I know most of us have already made a choice. If you are still undecided, I hope this post can help you make a wise decision. Though I am so tempted to lambast the overflowing ignorance and incompetence of other candidates, I will try my best not to do it. I have come to a prudent decision on who to vote so this is not the time to taint my good judgment. I am not a political analyst (I don’t even dream to be one) so these are only honest opinions of an ordinary citizen.

Let me first discus why I am not voting for:

1. Joseph Estrada

Why would I let myself become a part of this humiliation? I was one of the many students who marched out of their classes to oust this ex-president. We did everything to send him to jail and now we are letting him have the chance to go back to MalacaƱang? Yes, he did some worthwhile things as a president but there are also a lot of controversies behind him. I will not vote for him because I firmly believe that he should have not been a president the first time he was elected. I respected his presidency because the majority chose him. But what did we get in return? I believe that he is just running for the office because he wants to redeem himself. And do you expect me to trust a man to commit himself to the betterment of my country if he can’t even commit to his own wife?

2. Manny Villar

He is filthy rich. And his wealth scares me. Haha! He may be adored for rising from poverty, in which the truth of this matter is still being contested. I have nothing against the fact that he is rich. But I really have a big problem about how he stayed rich and became even richer while in office.

He may have the experience both in legislative and executive positions but whatever good things he has done have been clouded by the controversies involving his wealth. His main argument both with the C-5 and PSE issues is that he never used his position for financial gain. But is it even ethical for someone in his stature to be engaged in these dealings? There is such thing as conflict of interest. He said that he did not in any way benefit from his meeting with PSE. But then again, is it decent in the first place for a senate president to be discussing matters like these? He said that he came to the meeting as a businessman and not as the Senate president and he has no intentions of pressuring PSE. Hmm, okay. I’ll let you do the thinking. Spell D-E-L-I-C-A-D-E-Z-A

And then there’s the most talked about C-5 controversy. With this brouhaha, Villar has managed to keep calm and face the people by saying that everything being thrown at him is politically motivated. I hope he will be reminded that he is a politician so of course these are politically motivated. It is just like the fact that actors face intrigues because they are in show business. Why on God’s name can’t he face these accusations? And the so-called senators have even formed an alliance to protect this man.

There were also talks of “buying” his endorsers. This may never be proven because I haven’t heard any political endorser who has ever admitted that he/she was paid. I really don’t mind if ever he hired someone to endorse him. But my problem is how he uses his airtime to campaign. He started on local channels, and then radios. I was startled when I saw his face on AXN while I was watching CSI. Villar’s commercial was in every gap for 3 hours. And his face is even side by side the senators and party list candidates, the airtime of which is apart from the allotted for a president. Can you see what I mean? I know that COMELEC is not strict about regulating the political advertisements. But there are rules. And I want a president who still follows the rules even if nobody is watching. I call that INTEGRITY. I don’t want a president who will do anything to twist the laws. The very lenient COMELEC and Villar’s campaign strategies are lethal combination.

But what bothers me most is the cost. If he managed to shell out a huge amount of money to pay these commercials, what will happen next? He said that he will not in any way do anything to reimburse what he has already spent for his campaign. Hmm, okay!

His platform includes eradicating poverty but he hasn’t shown any plans on how he would do it. And I also wonder how he can eliminate graft and corruption if he can’t even clean his own backyard.

3. Noynoy Aquino

He is the man who leads the surveys, the son of an ex-president and an assassinated hero. Here’s my number one problem. If my father is a world-renowned painter, does that mean that people are compelled to hail my stupid doodles? His supporters claim that he is a good person because he was raised well by Cory and Ninoy. Our country has a lot of good parents. I bet there are parents who are even better. But is that really enough?

I have nothing against people who follow the footsteps of their parents. Noynoy being in politics is just the same as lawyers or doctors who become such because they have been influenced by their parents who come from the same profession. But if you were to ask me, I’d rather create my own mark than follow the ones created by my parents. Does the child of a principal become a principal right away? Would it be nicer if the child proves his/her worth first as an ordinary teacher? Noynoy is fortunate to have well-known and respected parents. But I am sure that they earned it. I hope Noynoy does the same.

He has all the advantages of being the son of popular political figures. And he happens to have a little sister who takes advantage of her popularity to put his brother on a high pedestal. And not to mention his vice presidential candidate who always plays his knight in shining armor when he is out of words in interviews. Unfortunately, all these things conceal the real deal: the fact that he does not have the experience to lead our country.

When Noynoy announced late last year of his intentions for the presidential elections, my father gave me a very shallow reason why he is not voting Noynoy. He is not married. I asked him why. He said that he doesn’t even have the backbone to raise his own family so why would he entrust the Philippines to a bachelor. I was still undecided at that time so to be fair to the man I told my dad that he might not have the chance to get married because he is too focused in public service. And then I learned the awful truth about his performance as a public servant.

He does not have any experience being in an executive position. And his stint being a legislator is not excellent at all. Number of bills and laws passed as a senator in three years – 0 (zero, wala, wa-a, buta, bokya!), number of bills passed as a congressman in nine years – 8. Do the Math and that only means that he was idle for a year. Petiks much?

Update 05/05/2010: A reader named Maria left a comment asking me to correct the above statement. She said that Noynoy authored 8 bills as a congressman but none was ever passed. So whichever is the case, still petiks!

His supporters claim that his records are clean. I have to admit that they have one hell of a point. But it’s just like walking into a bookstore to buy a book only to get hard-bound blank sheets of paper. It’s clean and cute but definitely not what you paid for.

And there is the never-ending conflict with the Hacienda Lusita. Noynoy claims that his shares are very minimal. It may be true but my point is he is the one who is in the position to make things right. I am allowed to speak if I see something off within the family. So how can Noynoy lead our country if he can’t even stand up against his own family? Again, he is the one in public service so his “small shares” are being magnified. I hope he realizes that being in public service means fighting for the oppressed (farmers miserably earning Php9.50/day) even if it means going against the wishes of your family.

I came into this realization. Filipinos are yearning for a superhero, someone who can stop poverty, someone who can do miracles. We have too much drama brought about by watching too much telenovelas. And Noynoy Aquino has benefited from this with the help of his little sister, the media hype because of his parents’ death and his political allies who have elevated him into a spot which he does not deserve. What most people feel about Noynoy is somehow similar to a young girl who is infatuated. And I consider my vote as sacred as marriage. Do you get married when you’re infatuated? No!

4. Gilbert Teodoro

Gibo was included in my very short list of presidential bets. He has experiences both in legislative and executive positions. I am not that aware on his participation with the Hacienda Lusita but what troubles me is his direct association with GMA. His tagline is Galing at Talino but his choice of his vice president contradicts this. I have nothing against the guy. I think he is a good choice but I decided to go for the smart choice.

If you are voting for any of the above candidates because your conscience tells you so, I applaud you. This is a democratic country and everybody is entitled to choose whom they think is right for the position. But if you still have doubts, read further.

So why am I voting for Richard Gordon?

His track record is screaming with competence and political will. He was the youngest delegate in the 1971 Constitutional Convention. He was a mayor, secretary of Department of Tourism and now a senator.

I was still young the first time I visited Olongapo. I have very vivid memories when our driver was fined for not wearing his seat belt. I didn’t know at that time that there was a seat belt law being implemented. The driver was furious. I knew he was wrong and that the law was passed to ensure the safety of travelers. That was the first time I’ve heard of Richard Gordon. I went back to Olongapo two years ago. My friends and I were just commuting so I asked for directions from my cousin’s friend who lives in Olongapo. She said that I should ride the blue jeepney stationed near the bus stop. I was like, “Are you serious?” And then I found out that the jeepneys in Olongapo are color-coded. And even the tricycle drivers wear uniforms. I remember drivers stopping and counting up to five (or ten) on intersections even if there are no traffic lights. I kept on coming back to Olongapo because I have always felt that the place looks like it’s not part of the Philippines. I want that kind of discipline in this country.

Should I go ahead on his accomplishments as a senator? How about as DOT secretary? Research and be amazed!

People don’t like him because they claim he’s too upfront. The problem with Filipinos is that we can’t handle the truth. We want politicians to give us false hopes and cling on to their promises. We always choose to be in the loving hands of someone even if they are incapable of getting the job done. Richard Gordon speaks of the appalling truths on how crooked our current system is and how Filipinos tolerate it. Unfortunately the onion-skinned cannot deal with it. I am a very frank person and I always demand the truth from my friends no matter how painful it is. If I have a friend who has a bad breath, I will tell her. Wouldn’t you? Would you rather have your friend be the object of gossip and disgust of other people just because you didn’t tell her? Thank God my friends are hygienic! So if you want a president who would tell you that your country is perfect despite the rotting system that encompasses it, don’t vote for Richard Gordon.

They say Richard Gordon is tactless. They say that one proof is the way he handled his interview with Karen Davila and his controversial reaction in his NU107 guesting. Gordon was the only person who had the guts to say on national television that surveys suck and that some media practitioners are biased. I was able to listen to the whole NU interview. I have to admit that it wasn’t intended for the weak-hearted. In fairness to Gordon he even said something like this when the host introduced Erwin Romulo as the son of Bert Romulo – No he is not the son of Bert Romulo. He is Erwin Romulo. He has his own character. His outburst was just a result of how people are trying to put words into his mouth. And being called a chicken shit on radio is not really cool. Richard Gordon is not tactless. He just has too much sense that not all people can digest. I don’t like being spoon-fed with knowledge. I want a president who challenges my intellect. I have to admit that watching Gordon’s interviews is the best exercise for my brain.

They say he is a dictator. So a person who wants to see results is now tagged as a dictator. Gordon may talk big but he is a man of actions more than anything else. We live in a culture where people who work hard are treated as castaways. It’s like a diligent student who is branded by his classmates as a grade-conscious geek. Ouch!

While all his opponents are so occupied with mudslinging, Gordon goes around all debates, forums and interviews. Others backed out for some unknown reasons.

Gordon’s leadership is already proven. Why settle for someone who gives promises like Hindi ako magnanakaw – something in the future tense, when you can already have someone who has already established his worth as a public servant? Why let yourself be blinded by those political advertisements - those done by professional advertisers, when you already have the results of Gordon’s hard work and effective management?

Gordon ignites the volunteer in me. I am not being paid to write this along with the thousands of people in his Facebook fan page who go out in the streets to campaign. His forty years as a Red Cross volunteer and his works in Olongapo with the help of a lot of unpaid heroes make me believe that this country can rise above if we set aside our personal gains and focus on building a better nation. But then again, some people claim that he is using everything he has done for the Red Cross on his campaign. My take – why not? One candidate brags about his innocence after being sent to jail. Another one boasts his famous parents. And the other swanks about swimming in a sea of garbage. So is it Gordon’s fault if he has something more to show off? Forty years in the Red Cross only means that he has been a volunteer way before he entered politics. Others think that being in politics is more than enough.

This is the campaign period and candidates are sort of trying to sell themselves to get our votes. They say that Gordon is boastful. He is not. Richard Gordon is assertive, confident of his many achievements. Noynoy leads all the surveys. He said in an interview that his opponents will be having a hard time to catch up and beat him. I almost had a heart attack. I watched this interview the same day that Kris said “Gusto ko silang saksakin!” - pertaining to Noynoy’s detractors. Conceit is being frowned at. But being conceited without anything significant to show off is a mortal sin - in Tagalog, “Nagyayabang ng wala namang ipagyayabang!” With Dick Gordon – kulang ang yabang sa dami ng nagawa!

Humility is a nice trait. But in the current state of my country, I don’t need a humble president. People think that being proud of what Dick Gordon has achieved is an act of arrogance. Are you meek when you are being interviewed for a job? I am not. If you want a humble president, you will be disappointed. From the looks of it, none of the presidential candidates is humble. Even the saintly Noynoy Aquino once said that if he loses, it only means that he was cheated. He even has the guts to call for a people power. The problem is people sometimes mistake humility with hypocrisy. A teacher once told my classmate she was beautiful, my classmate said “Hindi naman po.” That’s not humility! That’s hypocrisy because that classmate of mine would brag each day the number of boys who are going crazy over her beauty. The same teacher told me that the written report I submitted was exemplary so I said, “Thank you.” I know that my work was good so why should I be ashamed of it? I was hoping she would tell me I am beautiful too! Hehe! When somebody tells me that I am pretty or my dress is nice or my blog makes them smile, I say THANK YOU. I acknowledge my positive traits and the good things that I have been doing. Does that mean I am not humble?

Gordon makes me believe that there is still hope in this country. I honestly believe that he might be our last hope. A friend once told me that Gordon awakened his nationalism. I feel the same way. Don’t you want that too?

A lot of people like Gordon. But they are not voting for him because he is doing poorly in surveys. Should we blame these survey firms? Yes we can. But if you let these stupid surveys influence your own thinking, then shame on you. I have always been an active voter but this is the first time that I have become so passionate about letting other voters know what’s inside my head. I hate engaging in debates but I couldn’t help if the topic is Gordon’s winnability. I’ve heard this so many times that I already lost count – I like Gordon but I will just vote for Noynoy because I don’t want Villar to win. Since when did the election become like betting on a horse race? So let us just vote for Noynoy because he tops the surveys despite the issues of incompetence. Let us just vote for Villar because I can’t imagine the Philippines being controlled by Kris Aquino if Noynoy wins. If there are 1 million voters who believe that Gordon is the right choice but opted to change their mind as influenced by these surveys, that means that the qualified person loses 1 million votes. It happened to me last presidential elections. Based from the surveys, it was a tight race between GMA and FPJ. My parents decided we go vote for GMA because they think FPJ will just be a repeat of Erap. Written on my cheat sheet was GMA’s name but I changed my mind at the last minute. I didn’t let myself be manipulated by the surveys and I went ahead to vote the unpopular one. My candidate lost but at least I don’t feel the guilt that my parents are feeling after giving their votes to GMA.

There are two types of votes: the wise vote and the practical vote. If you use your mind and conscience in choosing who to vote for, you are a wise voter. But if you use the surveys as your basis rather than the candidate’s platform and track record, you are a practical voter. But did the practical ones made it to our history? We have the three wise men, not the three practical men. Now you have a choice whether to become wise or practical. But if you were to ask me, practical is not the opposite of wise.

Sometimes, we need to make a stand and go against the flow. Making the so-called public opinions emanating from these surveys as your basis in choosing who to vote is absurd. I still watch Eat Bulaga even if Wowowee says that they are the number one in ratings. I know a lot of people who do the same. So why can’t we apply this in something as serious as choosing who to vote, something that would benefit not only yourself but also our children and their children’s children.

A columnist and others who dislike Gordon claim that he believes those who are not voting for him are stupid, those who will are intelligent. Others say that Gordon’s supporters are desperate and think highly of themselves. I have a lot of friends who are supporting Gordon. I have not heard them say that those voting another presidential candidate other than Gordon are stupid. But we are united in saying that those who will not vote for Gordon because he does poorly in surveys are not using that very important thing in their head - the one that we call brain. Somebody once said that Gordon is the easiest vote to defend. So if his supporters seem effortless in articulating their support for Gordon, and this in return makes them look and sound smart, then it’s not their problem anymore.

If your conscience tells you that your candidate is the most suited for the presidency, I commend you for that. If we are not voting for the same candidate, that is what democracy is for. I applaud you for exercising your right to choose and vote. But if you let yourself be persuaded by the jingles that give you LSS, the popular endorsers that go to the campaign sorties, or the surveys that are only being asked to a thousand or so respondents, think again. Think better. The only survey that matters is the one on May 10, because everybody will be heard.

I am voting for Richard Gordon and I am not changing my mind unless I see Dick in a sex video before May 10!


Update 05/06/2010: People are dropping by comments asking if they can share this post. As long as we have the same stand and you can fight for it, share this to everybody. I won't mind. Gordon volunteers, we can make this happen! ^_^

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