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News Press Releases Gordon pays tribute to his father on death anniversary

Gordon pays tribute to his father on death anniversary

February 20, 2022 Press Releases
Gordon pays tribute to his father on death anniversary

Senator Richard J. Gordon today paid homage to his late father James Leonard Tagle Gordon, who was brutally murdered 55 years ago today.

The younger Gordon thanked his father for inspiring him to change course from a promising corporate career into a well-recognized public service career that has spanned for five decades now.

"His death is what changed the course of my life. I was already on my way to becoming an executive in a multi-million company. I was 22 years old and the then brand manager of Safeguard, under Procter & Gamble," recalled Gordon in a Facebook post.

"Tatlong beses pinagtangkaan ang kanyang buhay dahil salaban niya sa mga korap at illegal na gawain. Ang kanyangpagkamatay ay siyang nagtulak sa akin na maging abugado, at sa murang edad na 26, naging youngest [Constitutional Convention] delegate," he added.

Gordon headed to Olongapo today to pay tribute to his father, who served as the town's chief executive from 1963 until his assassination on Feb. 20, 1967.

Fondly called by his constituents as Mayor Jimmy, Gordon is considered as the Father of the Olongapo City, having pushed for its independence from American jurisdiction.

His birthday is commemorated as a special non-working holiday in the City of Olongapo and the Subic Bay Freeport Zone every January 17 by virtue of Republic Act (RA) 11217, which was signed in 2019.

Gordon also said that he misses his father every day, and recognizes the sacrifices he made for the betterment of Olongapo, even if it cost his life at just 50 years old.

"Every day I do my best to continue the work you did. I’ll never forget the times we spent together as a family and how you lived your life with integrity and kindness. I know you, Mama and Bong, are now together in Heaven and that consoles me," remarked Gordon.

Born to an American Marine father and Filipina mother, Gordon chose Filipino citizenship, contrary to the decision made by his siblings, whom pushed to become United States citizens.

After his election, Gordon earned the ire of his many political opponents as the mayor took on the city's underworld and corrupt public officials.

His life was attempted on for two times unsuccessfully before being shot and killed by an escaped murder convict on the steps of the town hall.

Gordon's funeral was attended by hundreds of thousands of people in mourning, including national lawmakers, and other government officials.

Dick Gordon, on the other hand, vowed to seek justice for Filipinos who have been wronged by taking law at the University of the Philippines Diliman.

He became a lawyer, and was elected as the youngest delegate of the 1971 Constitutional Convention, and took on his father's former job as Olongapo mayor, where he transformed "Sin City" into a vibrant community recognized throughout the country.

Dick Gordon also became the founding chairman of the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA), where he saved the former U.S. naval base from collapse and transformed it to a freeport zone, where he created over 200,000 jobs and billions of pesos worth of investments.