Senator Richard J. Gordon yesterday called on the people of Olongapo and all Filipinos to shed their apathy behind and take a stand and action on the events and issues happening around them that are affecting Olongapo and the whole country, respectively.
During the commemoration of the 52nd death anniversary of his father, the late Olongapo Mayor James Leonard “Jimmy” Tagle Gordon, he called on the people to stop being spectators and have the courage to take a position and stand their ground.
“Today, I take this opportunity to rile and to wake up the Filipino from stupor, from the dream state na wala tayong ginagawa sa mga nangyayari sa ating bayan… My father taught me to stand my ground and fight. That is what we must be in this country today (standing up for what you believe in). We cannot be spectators. Jimmy Gordon was not a spectator,” the senator said, citing the killings, corruption, and other controversies affecting the country.
“He raised us not to be outsiders, but we should be in the forefront for justice, for honor, for peace, for integrity in government, to fight. I will always fight for what is right because Jimmy Gordon was not afraid,” he added.
Jimmy Gordon, known as the Father of Olongapo, was a crusader against crime and corruption and political bossism and pillaging. He led the move to free Olongapo from the United States. When the rest of the Philippines had been declared independent of the US on July 4, 1946, Olongapo remained under US Government jurisdiction having been declared a US Naval Reservation in the early 1900s).
He exposed and fought the abuses and harassments suffered by Olongapo residents under US military rule. He was also like David trying to defeat Goliath, which symbolized the rampant corruption and abuses in the governing authority.
Jimmy Gordon also renewed his fight against graft and corruption when he saw the widespread corruption in the municipal government practiced by the well-entrenched politicians who took over from the Americans. The crusading made him enemies who did not stop orchestrating attempts against his life until they finally succeeded in terminating Jimmy Gordon’s life.