Deep division seen cause of Gordons’ debacle in Olongapo

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OLONGAPO CITY—The deep division within the Gordon political clan has brought to its knees one of the established political families in the country.

The results of the midterm elections, which effectively ended more than a quarter century rule of the Gordon political clan in Olongapo, handed the reins of the city to Rolen Paulino, who defeated the wife of outgoing Mayor James Gordon Jr., Anne Marie.

Paulino got 40,664 votes as against Anne Marie’s 27,648 and her nephew Bugsy de los Reyes’ 10,093. Bugsy ran with cousin Brian Gordon, son of former Sen. Richard Gordon.

John Carlos “JC” de los Reyes, a losing senatorial candidate of Ang Kapatiran Party and a member of the Gordon clan, said the election results showed the family division had a huge impact on the performance of the Gordon candidates.

“The Gordon family is a dynasty led by Dick (former

Sen. Richard Gordon) and Bong (Mayor Gordon), tragically ended by a new generation dynasty to-be, Bugsy and Brian. It was an intergenerational dynastic war where Gordon brothers and cousins clashed,” he said.

Richard, who ran with  United Nationalist Alliance (UNA), also lost in the senatorial race, placing 13th. His nephew, JC, said he did not support any Gordon candidate, even his brother, Bugsy.

“They did not respect me, even Bugsy and Brian. How can we introduce the Ang Kapatiran brand of politics, which is doing the right things, and doing things right, if they themselves will [strive to continue] the Gordon dynasty which is prohibited by the Constitution?” JC  said.

He said that even his uncle, Richard, was also at fault because he allowed this to happen and gave his consent to it.

“I cannot sit idly by in a corner. There is a struggle within [the Gordon family], and if the family is dragged down, then so be it. That is a victory for the people, and it has contributed to the reforms Ang Kapatiran are pursuing in the country,” JC  said.

He said his uncle openly supported Bong and Anne Marie and discreetly supported Brian.

“Despite this, Bugsy supported Dick. All these confused the people. To make things worse, Dick ran with Mitos (outgoing Zambales Rep. Ma. Milagros Magsaysay), their archenemy,” JC  said.

Asked about the possibility of a Gordon reclaiming Olongapo in 2016, JC said: “I would suggest that before we heal our community, we heal and lead our family first.”

He said Paulino benefited from the Gordon clan split.

“With the snowballing national movement against dynasties, it was inevitable he would win. The irony is the Gordons of my generation sincerely wanted to rectify the bad and perfect the good done by the older generation. But by fighting the Gordon dynasty with a new Gordon dynasty, they were unwittingly being the monster they were trying to slay. The people were wary and were turned off,” he said. Robert Gonzaga, Inquirer Central Luzon

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