Richard Juico Gordon


The Zambales-born Gordon first gained prominence as the mayor of Olongapo in the 1980s, especially in the aftermath of the eruption of Mt. Pinatubo.

Based on his website, Gordon “stood shoulder-to-shoulder with the people of Olongapo, shoveling the ashfall, and recovering what was left of their lives. With him at the helm, they rebuilt their city and their lives, later becoming a model city for peace and order, health care, education, livelihood, and good governance.”

With the US military having no choice but to leave its naval base, the so-called “Sin City” also had not choice but to turn to other ventures.

During his term as SBMA chief, Subic became a showcase of a successful conversion from military base to an industrial-commercial hub. The 4th APEC Leaders’ Summit was also held in Subic.

Gordon gained more fame when he joined the administration of President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo as Tourism Secretary. The “WOW Philippines” marketing campaign, which was adopted during his term, helped the Philippines get more attention abroad amid social and political problems besetting the country such as kidnapping incidents in Mindanao.

In 2004, he joined the Senate with tourism, peace and order, and governance as his battle cries. One of the bills he pushed which was passed into law is the automated election system.

The call for a higher office attracted Gordon in 2010, the first time when the polls became automated. He became the standard-bearer of the Bagumbayan-Volunteers for a New Philippines, but he was unsuccessful.

Gordon remained a “man of action” despite the loss and later became the chairman of the Philippine National Red Cross. The agency’s website reads: “People have seen him in the news because of the Red Cross kidnapping crisis. People have seen him passionate, aggressive, sad, sometimes even angry.”

Gordon, one of Red Cross’ busiest volunteers, has been at the forefront of the agency’s tasks during natural disasters.

He is seeking to return to the Senate as a candidate of the United Nationalist Alliance in the May 13 elections.

Where does he stand? Click here.