An open letter to Senator Dick Gordon

Dear Senator Gordon,

May this letter find you in good health. Forgive my presumptuousness in communicating with you in this manner, but the Internet is one of the few ways that an ordinary citizen and voter such as myself can attempt to reach you.

Upon learning that you had entered the presidential race, I took it upon myself to study the contents of your campaign web site, and what I have found has made for interesting reading. That you are seeking to create meaningful changes in the country, as stated in your manifesto, resonates strongly with me—like many Filipinos, I look forward to the May 2010 polls as an important turning point for our nation, after nearly a decade under the present administration—and there is no doubt in my mind that, should you succeed in your bid, you will be able to accomplish most, if not all, of the goals that you will set for yourself. Although I cannot say that I will cast my vote for you, I do not see why you would not be able to make real your vision for a better Philippines. If there is something that even your harshest critics must say about you, it is that you do not lack the will or the fervor to see your plans through to the last detail—one need only check your long and distinguished public service record. You and your running mate, Mr. Bayani Fernando, are definitely capable of transformational leadership. For that, I respect your candidacy, as I will respect your presidency, should the electorate install you in Malacañan Palace.

The reason that I am writing to you is to express my concerns regarding Mr. Paul Farol, one of the bloggers for Asian Correspondent. I do not know if you are still connected with him professionally, but he claims in his Blogger profile to be one of your interns. Certainly, he is one of your most enthusiastic and most prominent online supporters. He has been wanting you to run for president since 2006, even setting up the Team Gordon 2010 blog out of his own volition, and was moved to the point of tears when he learned that you had filed your certificate of candidacy with the Commission on Elections last December 1. Such passion would warm the cockles of anyone’s heart, and I am sure that you are touched to have someone with the zeal of Mr. Farol on your side.

What I find disturbing—and I believe you should be similarly disturbed—is that Mr. Farol seems to have a personal vendetta against one of your opponents for the presidency, Senator Benigno “Noynoy” S. Aquino III, and has no qualms whatsoever in making a display of it, as evidenced by many of his online postings. For example, one of the updates in his Twitter account—his third, as the others were previously suspended—states that, “I caused the downfall of the Yellow Messiah… Now to find a tree to nail him to.” The use of such a violent image implies a depth of ill feeling—ill feeling that, in the absence of actual justification, would appear to be rooted solely in spite. Consider, for instance, how he responded to a comment on one of his blog entries: “Picking on Noynoy is just a hobby which I am not being paid for and would refuse to get paid for because IT IS SOOOO MUCH FUN.” As though that were not enough, Mr. Farol has also been trying to enlist others in his campaign of irrational hate, presumably with the end view of scoring political points on your behalf.

While I am not one to begrudge anyone his or her freedom of expression, I think you will agree with me when I say that Mr. Farol’s wanton exhibition of malice runs counter—strikingly so—to your vision of Bagumbayan, your expressed belief in the need to “do things, believe things, and think in new ways”. Mr. Farol’s vitriolic outpourings, then, are ultimately harmful to your campaign, positioned as it is precisely against traditional politics, one index of which is the very mudslinging that Mr. Farol is doing.

You yourself have said on your web site that, “What this country needs is not just a change OF men, but a change IN men.” As far as I am concerned, one of the best ways to demonstrate this change is to elevate the level of political discourse from senseless vituperation to civil, rational, merit-based, mature discussion. Therefore, I would like to suggest that you or one of your advisers get in touch with Mr. Farol, and remind him of the progressive values that you uphold, in order that he may support you more effectively and in better faith than he has thus far shown.

Granted, you have also exhorted Filipinos to “[not] let anyone tell you what that change is going to be”, but I am sure that you can convince the public of your worthiness to be president on the basis of your principles and achievements, and not at the expense of your rivals, as Mr. Farol seems to believe.

I trust that you will give this matter serious consideration, and that any steps you take will be decisive ones, steps toward the transformation that all Filipinos, regardless of their alliances, have come to expect of you.

Thank you for your time, and God bless your campaign.

*

(Added December 18, 2009: Paul Farol has informed me that he is not working for Senator Gordon, and that the Blogger profile to which I have linked is not his.)

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23 thoughts on “An open letter to Senator Dick Gordon

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  3. galing! dick gordon (but not bayani f.) is top of my list these days (who knows for how long, hehe) but yeah, i share your dismay re gordon fan farol’s vitriol vs. noynoy.

  4. I agree with you and I believe Mr Gordon must listen to you too. Leaders must walk their talk, and their followers if they have any, must walk their talk too. Otherwise, they cannot claim to be their followers and every action that a follower does is a slander against the leader.

    Mr Gordon must act now.

    • To be fair to Senator Gordon, no candidate can be expected to fully control his/her supporters. But if Farol is still an intern for Gordon, then that would be a different matter.

  5. Tuesday, December 15, 2009
    Letter from Sir Nick of Talamitam

    Yesterday I received an email from Sir Nicky Wijangco bearing this letter of appeal. I am posting this in PinoyMountaineer.com since this will doubtless be of interest to mountaineers. Take note that we are merely airing his side; PinoyMountaineer.com is neutral as far as such disputes are concerned.

    Dear Fellow Mountaineers and Selected Friends,

    At noon today, I logged in a complaint in the Nasugbu PNP blotter regarding a powerline wire-cutting incident last night at 7 in the evening. The incident was designed to sucker me into the open while trying to reattach the severed electrical wires that fed power to my hut. Instead, I asked the help of PNP Region 4 Director General Per Palad who immedietely sent a team to look into my predicament. Because of the police presence, the power lines were attached without incident. Leading up to this event, two of our dogs have already been poisoned and the survival of the third an iffy proposition. Last night’s harrassment was merely the latest of a yearlong string of incidents.

    On April 16, 2008, I was summoned to appear before Nasugbu PNP Chief Maitim. There was no written charge of any kind but I decided to show up anyway- only to be lambasted by Teodoro “Brother” Ted Calimag and Barangay Kayrilao Chairman Jorge Gerpacio. I had done too good of a job preserving Mt. Talamitam which caused too many of you to come and your inevitable disposable income. Greed kicked in, and the takeover conspiracy was on!

    On April 20, 2009, The Calimag brothers, led by Brother Ted, wanted to hack me to death in front of about two dozen PHINOE mountaineers.

    On May 10, 2008, I decided to lump several events together that otherwise are spread out through several months. The river cleanup, tree planting and dental mission secured 300 volunteers, only to be scared off by a dozen policemen, 2 barangay chairmen and the big Calimag clan.

    On December 28, 2008, I was visited by the Nasugbu PNP for allegedly extorting fees from you, my beloved mountaineers.

    On February 17, 2009, I was brought to court by the Calimag clan for allegedly pointing a gun at them. The court dismissed the charge just this 10th of November, 2009.

    On April 24, 2009, I was once again visited by the Nasugbu PNP for allegedly possessing a firearm. Member of the Sykes Mountaineering Group witnessed this incident.

    On May 22, 2009, I was again harrassed for allegedly stealing a ton-and-a-half of used PLDT wires. The Las Pinas Adventure Group (LASPAG) witnesses this event.

    On November 20, 2009, elements of the Nasugbu PNP rummaged through my hut on the strength of a court search warrant secured by Ted Calimag. The search proved negative for a supposed cache of firearms.

    And then there was the wire-cutting incident a forthnight ago. Note that between incidents involving the police the had been at least two phycal contacts, numerous attempts to waylay my person; and numerous verbal threats at liquidation!

    When I decided to espouse my environmental advocacy at Mt. Talamitam a dozen years ago, I had an inkling about the hardship and the risks I had to endure in my effort to conserve the ruggedly scenic area. What transpired on June 6, 2009 was so mindboggling that it convinced me that government and environment simply cannot mix in this country! On that day, a DENR Undersecretary with a bunch of regional synchopants in tow visited Talamitam. I presented photos of century-old trees poached from within the old forest. Not a single DENR personnel has taken pains to verify my photos to this day, and the rape of the forest goes on. More ghastly, they showed unanimous support for Ted Calimag (the very epitome of the pseudo-environmentalist).

    I rest my case. Most of you are aware of the other unethical details. However, no harrassment or threat is going to make me back and leave Mother Nature unprotected! I will make a move soon to rectify this sordid conspiracy; and if the government agencies won’t help us, then, so help me God, with your help, we will! Pass this message on to the brothers.

    Fondly,
    Sir Nick of Talamitam

    jill sunio monreal: i copy -paste it from the site of pinoy mountaineer.com…pls do help ..stop the harassment…

      • I have to admit, the one you pointed to was written out quite well.

        On another note, the profile that you cited is not my profile but a profile that was put up by a fan of Bambee Dela Paz who got pissed off when I started pointing out that it was Bambee’s father who actually charged at the Pangandamans. Childish really.

        Just refer to the profile on Asian Correspondent, if you really want to point to the real Paul Farol.

        Also, I am not an “intern” of Gordon and I am no longer connected to his office in whatever shape, manner, or form.

        As for what I have written about Noynoy.

        Here’s the thing, whenever somebody writes something about Noynoy that is even just a little critical, it is viewed as an attack on Noynoy?

        Whenever issues about his laziness, lack of experience or proof of competence as a leader, or whatever else is brought up, people immediately come out of the woodwork and floorboards to scream that Noynoy is being attacked?

        Is it because they can’t answer the issues thrown at Noynoy? But how can they have answers when Noynoy himself doesn’t have answers?

        How is Noynoy going to fix the broken down public education system that we have? If you know the answer to this, let me know. Because all I have heard so far from Noynoy is the problems with our education system, he hasn’t talked about the solutions.

        How is Noynoy going to stop corruption and is corruption really the country’s biggest problem? Stopping corruption is the oldest, biggest and fattest false claim that all candidates make; bar none, no candidate who got elected has ever stopped corruption — not even Noynoy’s dear dead mother.

        How is Noynoy going to generate jobs, increase the productivity of our agricultural lands, create business opportunities and stimulate the growth of SMEs? Has he said anything? I’d like to know.

        Anyway, these are just three of the things I’d like answered and whenever I ask these questions, no one from Noynoy’s legions of online cultists issue a proper answer.

        I am beginning to think that the ones who leave the nastiest and stupidest comments are actually from Villar or Gibo’s camp, in an apparent attempt to besmirch the good reputation of true Noynoy followers.

        Then again, the any and every site that is purportedly pro-Noynoy answers in pretty much the same way.

        They make claims which later can’t be backed up with proof and if they do manage to come up with proof, these are more often than not easily refuted or shown to be irrelevant.

        Take for example the claim that Noynoy is honest. Sure, that can be true. But isn’t that what is claimed about all politicians and their supporters? But, really, how can you expect politicians to be honest when politics as I know it thrives on deception, the telling of outright lies and half-truths?

        If Noynoy is honest, why can’t he admit that he doesn’t have any experience or track record that is relevant to an executive position that is the Presidency? Just think about that.

        Whenever his track record and experience is brought up, do you know what happens? He sides steps the issue or doesn’t answer it at all.

        It reminds me of how the pro-Cory people dealed with the question of Cory Aquino’s relevant background or skill in leading people.

        The pro-Cory people then said, “Tama nga! Wala siyang karanasan… Karanasan sa pangungurakot! Karanasan sa pag-aabuso ng kapangyarihan!” So on and so forth.

        I will not stop exposing the defects of the Noynoy Presidency in order to get people to think harder about the choices they are going to make in 2010.

        • Thank you for clarifying that you are no longer connected with Senator Gordon, and that the Blogger profile is not yours. I have edited my post to reflect these statements.

          Please do not be disingenuous about what you have written. Questioning the platform and experience of any candidate is par for the course. That you take such open delight in picking on Senator Aquino, however, is not “a little critical”, hence my call for civil, rational, merit-based, mature discussion.

          In any case, you yourself have said that, “We don’t have to say bad things about Noynoy, his supporters are already doing him in.” If you truly believe that, then it may be a far more efficient use of your energies to convince people that your choice for president is the best one—why not publicize Senator Gordon’s answers to the questions that you have brought up, for example?

          Kindly bear in mind that your agenda of “exposing the defects of the Noynoy Presidency”, even if ultimately persuasive to people on the fence, will not necessarily mean more votes for Senator Gordon, which, I suppose, is the outcome you want. It seems to me that the best way to promote your candidate is to focus on writing and talking about him.

          • RS,

            I actually had to look up the word disingenuous and it is a mouthful.

            Here’s what it means, according to one of the online dictionaries: “lacking in frankness, candor, or sincerity; falsely or hypocritically ingenuous; insincere”

            I don’t know if you or any of the Noynoy supporters will be honest enough to admit it, but the fact is Noynoy is poorly qualified to lead the country.

            How’s that for being disingenuous?

            • There can no real dialogue between people who are deeply entrenched in very different positions. We will only end up talking over each other.

              Thus, let me offer you something to think about, instead: What are you more concerned with, doing your utmost to help your candidate win, or doing your utmost to help one of his opponents lose? The latter does not automatically lead to the former. Perhaps you would like to refer to this helpful post from The Marocharim Experiment.

              • Hey, it’s Mark!

                No offense, but I read your “Demand and Content” piece and while the advice seems grounded on some sort of science, it is advice that I am going to ignore.

                Contrary to what you may think, what I am after is for more people to engage in critical thought rather than getting more people to like/vote/worship a particular personality — Dick Gordon included.

                There is a lot more benefit to having more people thinking more critically about the current crop of propaganda being spewed by the camps of Villar, Erap, and Noynoy.

                Thinking critically, for me, necessarily means examining claim made for each of the candidates and one overarching claim not stated explicitly is this: (Name of the candidate) is the best candidate for President.

                By doing so, people end up either confirming the claim or dismissing it.

                I am not really into blogging to market “people” or “things”, I am blogging to get people to think.

                This to me is more useful than just getting people to “buy” into people or things.

                • I don’t agree with your methods, but I do agree that voters need to think critically about all the candidates. I expect this means your readers can look forward to posts on Gordon, Villar, Teodoro, Estrada, Villanueva, and De Los Reyes—and Perlas, assuming the COMELEC reverses itself.

                  Incidentally, I’m not Marck, but we do know each other.

                  • Er… I wasn’t assuming that you were Mark, why did you have to point that out?

                    You don’t have to agree with my methods, they are my own. You have yours, and I’ll leave you to it.

                    Also, just to let you know, I’m taking up Villar next — his propaganda is getting on my nerves again.

                    Gibo and Estrada will be next after that.

                    Gordon will be last and by no means least:

                    He still has to explain the debt moratorium plan for freeing up money for education and health. It’s a good idea, but, just HOW he’ll manage it may be worth looking into.

                    I’m still thinking about Villanueva, Delos Reyes, and Perlas.

  6. Senator Gordon should act on this issue, becuase his name bears on the forehead of Mr. Farol while doing such irrationale statement. Well, it does not matter though if Mr. Farol does not have any mention of Sen. Gordon’s name in relation to the forthcoming election.

    Filipinos should learn to fight with reasons and be reasonable, and do not let our mouths speak wide open and sowing irrationalities. Let’s be rationale. Let’s all our actions be reasonbale and congenial, so as to really, really realize our ever best dream for our country. I am sure this is among all the attitudes or traits that we should possess before our dreams would be achieved so well.

      • Am so sorry if nobody could understand what i mean with my hasty reply about Gordon’s Farol. Would just like to deliver my thoughts. Anyway, even if I would say it in tagalog, it would also have a lot of errors for I am not a linguist, or if the reader could not or does not want to understand what is really in it. Anyway, thank you for your good advise.

  7. Pingback: Paid anti-Noynoy propaganda | Asian Correspondent

  8. Paul Farol is doomed. He found someone he picked who spelled his doom. Follow the links and you will understand what I mean:

    The blogger did not know Paul Farol, but Paul would email the blogger about his hate entries. It could be found here:
    http://barriosiete.com/its-gettin-nasty-out-in-pinoy-election-blogosphere/

    Paul Farol was not paid for writing hate entries against this Noynoy supporter, he deleted his entries and would start clean.
    http://barriosiete.com/trouble-in-paradise/

    This final piece had him done.
    http://barriosiete.com/indecency-in-blogging-by-trash-blogger-paul-farol-continues/

    Visit the site, there’s more.

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