Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Babe Romualdez and his misplaced sympathies

We hope the Philippine Star prints this letter which responds to a column written by Babe Romualdez. In anycase, here it is for all the read.

Dear Mr. Romualdez,

I write in connection with your column Takin' Care of Business in the Philippine Star entitled "Flashy Gordon" yesterday 2 October 2007.

I don't know if you are indeed a friend of Dick Gordon. However, as a staff that has been with him since Subic, allow me to respond to your misplaced concern/s regarding his temper even going as far back as ten years ago in relation to his aspirations of leading our nation.

Dick Gordon is a passionate leader who does not let anything or lets anyone get in the way in doing what is best for the country and people. Such leadership style has often been misunderstood and branded as arrogance.

He was arrogant when as the youngest delegate he called for a vote on the ban Marcos re-election measure in the 1971 Constitutional Convention.

He was arrogant before the nation when he transformed the community of Olongapo that was portrayed as Sin City even though it had previously cost him his father's own life.

He was arrogant to call for a joint use of the US bases by Filipinos and Americans while Marcos and Reagan were re-negotiating the bases treaty long before the closure in 1992.

He was arrogant when he jailed some 20 policemen including a chief of police for disturbing the peace and abusing their authority in his city even during the period of Martial Law.

He was arrogant when he let the then Admiral of the US Navy walk and apologize to the community for not letting Filipino citizens of Olongapo safe passage through the base when Mt. Pinatubo erupted.

He was arrogant when he interfered and went against the wishes of Cory Aquino and the NDCC and brought down 8,000 Aetas from the mountains of Zambales as well as led a rescue team with Americans to the ruins of Central Colleges in Cabanatuan and airlifted relief goods using US marine choppers from Clark to Baguio.

He was arrogant before Congress and the Senate when he lobbied for the creation of a Freeport and at the same time take the reigns as Chairman of the SBMA.

He was arrogant when he competed against leading freeports like Hong Kong, Singapore and Labuan to make Subic an international trade and tourism destination.

He was arrogant when he refused to go before Congress to receive a budget from the national government to run SBMA and instead raised his own revenues to spare Filipino taxpayers additional burden and add more to the government coffers.

He was arrogant when he competed against Singapore, Thailand and Hong Kong to host Federal Express' Asia One hub in Subic that resulted in Orchids from Davao and fresh tuna from General Santos to be brought overnight to Japan and the US markets.

He was arrogant when he reprimanded, suspended and fined foreign investors like Hong Kong Chinese of Reebok, Koreans of Hanjin Construction, Taiwanese of UIG, Germans of Alcatel and Americans of Enron and Coastal who were abusive and or have violated labor and environmental laws, respectively in Subic.

He was arrogant when he forced the longer stay of 21 world leaders of APEC in the Leaders' Summit to prove that the country was a safe and a sincerely changed nation.

He was arrogant when he was the first to stand up against the most popularly elected president, Joseph Estrada, who issued his first act of not recognizing government security of tenure and the rule of law. He still remains arrogant not to allow him pardon.

He was arrogant when he made the Department of Tourism shape up as a frontline service agency to be voted top government department in a survey by the Makati Business Club when he ended his stint.

He was arrogant to lead the tourism industry at the height of kidnappings, war in Mindanao and even more arrogant to sustain the effort to promote the Philippines amidst Abu Sayyaf, SARS, and the Oakwood mutiny. He still remains arrogant in pushing for the Tourism Act in Congress.
He was arrogant when he stood up against first world countries like the United States, United Kingdom, Australia who issued unfair Travel Advisories indirectly rewarding terrorists against third world countries like the Philippines who's economies depend on tourism.

He was arrogant when he commandeered an entire US marine battalion to relocate their joint training exercises in Luzon to assist in rescue and relief operations in the St. Bernard, Southern, Leyte landslide.

He was arrogant when he took charge and ordered various government rescue personnel and even media during the chaotic Wowowee ULTRA stampede.

He was arrogant when he defended the integrity of the Constitution, despite voting against it in 1987, before unlawful moves for CHACHA, PIRMA and PI.
He was arrogant when he summoned PCGG officials and jailed Chairman Sabio who refused to be investigated for corruption and mismanaging ill-gotten wealth that they were supposed to retrieve and protect.

He was arrogant when he debated with his colleagues to pass the Automated Election System law to ensure the sanctity of our votes and for our electoral system to modernize and become at par with democracies like the United States and India where results are decided immediately the next day. He still remains arrogant pushing the COMELEC to implement the law ASAP.

Now you add Dick Gordon's arrogance when he grilled Abalos at the Senate hearings where his litigation style of questioning unmasked the earlier grinning and sheepish former COMELEC Chair to admit that at the height of election period for the May 2007 mid-term elections he traveled on many occasions to China to play golf with ZTE executives. Furthermore, Dick Gordon unraveled the seeming pattern of anomalous projects costing billions to our people -- Php3.8Billion for the failed Voters Registration and ID System; Php 2.6Billion for the failed Voters Validation System; and Php2.3Billion for the canceled Mega Pacific computerization deal.
We must not therefore find fault and castigate Dick Gordon for being arrogant. It is about time that we elect a president with such passion and measure of arrogance to put fire in our bellies and cope with the myriad challenges of a thankless job of leading our country to overcome the social, political and economic wrought we are in.

Louis D. Pawid III, Quezon City.

No comments: