SENATOR Richard J. Gordon on Sunday welcomed his inclusion as an official common candidate in the senatorial slates of three presidential candidates in his bid for a second term in the Senate in the May 2022 elections.

Gordon, who chairs the Bagumbayan-Volunteers for New Philippines (BVNP), said he is grateful for the endorsement of Vice President Maria Leonor “Leni” G. Robredo and two of her five key rivals, Senators Panfilo “Ping” M. Lacson Sr. and Emmanuel “Manny” D. Pacquiao Sr., for his reelection bid.

Also on Sunday, Sen. Emmanuel Joel J. Villanueva, who has worked with Gordon in the 18th Congress, welcomed his inclusion in the Senate slates of the three presidential contenders Robredo, Lacson and Pacquiao.

“Clearly, this is an expression of their confidence and trust to our no-nonsense brand of leadership,” Gordon said of the endorsement of the three.

“It is also a strong proof,” he added, that “they acknowledge the hard work we do at the Senate, especially our relentless fight against government corruption despite the incessant attacks” hurled against him as he continued to lead the Senate investigation into misuse of multibillion pandemic funds that were cornered by the low-capitalized startup Pharmally Pharmaceuticals Corp., which has no experience in producing personal protective equipment.

Gordon, a lawyer, chairs three committees in the Senate: on Accountability of Public Officers and Investigations (Blue Ribbon); on Justice and Human Rights; and, on Government Corporations and Public Enterprises.

Robredo called Gordon a key ally in the fight against corruption, especially in his lead role in investigating Pharmally, with links to former presidential economic adviser Michael Yang.

Gordon had been on the receiving end of brazen public attacks led by President Duterte and his minions and paid trolls owing to the investigation.

In earlier inquiries, Senate Blue Ribbon investigations against the customs and immigration bureaus have led to the filing of charges of numerous former government officials and employees.

Malinaw na hindi siya mananahimik laban sa kurapsyon [It is clear he doesn’t shrink from the fight against corruption],” said Robredo, who introduced Gordon as the first senatorial candidate to add up to her earlier list of senatorial aspirants.

Earlier, Far Eastern University (FEU) Institute of Law Dean Melencio “Mel” S. Santa Maria, a television and radio presenter, said in a social media post that Gordon is the “most experienced” among the senatorial candidates.

In the past week, Lacson and Pacquiao have also named Gordon in their respective senatorial slates. The three lawmakers have worked together during the 17th Congress and the 18th Congress.

Gordon, also a volunteer chairman of the Philippine Red Cross since 2004, said he believes that the endorsement of three presidential candidates can further boost his opportunities “of serving the Filipinos more and better.”

As a lawmaker, Gordon has filed 116 Senate resolutions and 146 bills, 48 of which have become law. In the Senate, he brought with him his rich experiences as former mayor of Olongapo City (1980-1986, 1988-1993), former chairman of the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (1992-1998) and former tourism secretary (2001-2004).

‘Tesdaman’ endorsed, too

MEANWHILE, Villanueva said he was “thankful, honored and humbled for the inclusion of ‘Tesdaman’ as a guest candidate” of Robredo, Lacson and Pacquiao, “as well as other presidential candidates.”

Such is “both a validation of our track record in the Senate and an affirmation that ‘Tesdaman’ is deserving and can continue to make a difference in the Senate. That’s why, although we filed our COC as independent, we are ready to work together with any party that places job creation as a top priority,” Villanueva added.

“The massive joblessness in our country brought by the pandemic is a problem far too great that cannot be solved by any individual, group, or sector alone,” he said.

On Friday, former Vice President Jejomar C. Binay also got a vote of confidence from the three teams―Robredo, Pacquiao and Lacson―despite running under his own party, the United Nationalist Alliance.





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