His was a life dedicated in the service of his fellow Filipinos.
This is how senatorial aspirant and former Special Assistant to the President (SAP) Bong Go describes James Leonard Gordon, widely considered as the “founding father of Olongapo,” at the recent remembrance of the 52nd death anniversary of the late Olongapo City mayor.
“Although his fruitful and productive life was cut short by an assassin’s bullet those many years ago, his deeds and his charity continue to be felt by the people of Olongapo to this day and his legacy of selfless service lives on through his children and grandchildren,” Go added.
Senator Dick Gordon, son of the late mayor, invited the former presidential aide to grace the event, which was held in front of the San Roque Chapel at the Subic Bay Freeport Zone in Olongapo City.
James Gordon was the first mayor of Olongapo City, and as Go stated, “it was through his efforts that Olongapo was freed from United States rule, allowing its people to shape its own destiny, and it was under his leadership that Olongapo achieved its chartered city status, which laid the foundation for Olongapo to become the vibrant and dynamic city that it is today.”
“It was through his efforts that Olongapo was freed from United States rule.”
In his message during the event, Go also lauded the seasoned legislator for ensuring the continued progress of Subic after the withdrawal of the U.S. Navy from its military base by encouraging the spirit of volunteerism and installing discipline, drawing parallels with the successes of President Rodrigo Duterte in Davao City.
“Kung paano nilinis ni Sen. Gordon ang Subic, ganoon din po nilinis ni Pangulong Duterte ang Davao,” he said.
Go said that if elected to the Senate, the people of the region can count on him to be an ally in pushing for more development of the area.
“If elected to the Senate, the people of the region can count on me to be an ally.”
“Tutulungan ko po itong Subic. Nasa Senado na po yung amendment ng RA 7227, the law that created SBMA and Clark. I-iexpand po ang free port, incentives to Olongapo, Bataan and Zambales. For second reading na po ito. Kung swertehin at abutan ko ito (sa Senate) susuportahan ko po ito,” he said.
Among others, the bill seeks to increase the area of the Clark Special Economic Zone from the current 4,400 hectares to 35,400 hectares and permit the Subic and Clark authorities to draft master plans for their expansion including areas in San Antonio, San Marcelino, Subic and Castillejos in Zambales, as well as in Olongapo City and Hermosa in Bataan.
The proposal, according to Go, would open more business opportunities, spur economic growth and generate more revenues for the local government units concerned.
“Ako po isusulong ko, ipagpapatuloy ko po ang pagbabagong inumpisahan ni Pangulong Duterte,” said Go, as he also bared his own legislative priorities if elected to the Senate.
Among others, he vowed to support the President’s unrelenting campaign against illegal drugs, criminality and corruption.
“Ipaglalaban namin ito up to the last day of the term of President Dutete,” Go said.
Likewise, he said he would push for improved delivery of health services, including additional bed capacity for public hospitals, as well as the enactment of a law that for the establishment of Malasakit Center in more provinces and key urban centers in the country.
A program of the Duterte administration, the Malasakit Center is a one-stop shop bringing together in one room all concerned government agencies such as the DOH, DSWD, PCSO, and Philhealth to make it easier and faster for poor patients to avail of medical and financial assistance from the government.
“Mayroon na po tayong 23 Malasakit Centers sa buong bansa. Hopefully, tuloy-tuloy na itong programang ito kahit hindi na Pangulo si Pangulong Duterte,” Go said.
Other components of his legislative agenda include programs on agriculture, education, housing, long-term sports development, localized peace talks, fire protection and prevention, creation of a department for overseas Filipino workers, barangay welfare, and improved benefits for senior citizens.