Press Release
January 17, 2017


Senator Richard J. Gordon yesterday welcomed the proclamation signed by President Rodrigo Duterte declaring January 17, 2017 as a special non-working day in Olongapo in honor of the 100th birth anniversary of its founding father and first elected mayor, James Leonard Tagle Gordon.

Gordon said that while there were people who, earlier, offered to change Olongapo City into Gordon City or name a holiday in Olongapo, the Gordon family refused. He wanted the late mayor given recognition on his 100th birth anniversary since it was the true test for people to remember those who have sacrificed.

"I wanted to make sure that we would do it on his 100th anniversary because that is the true test of the people who must remember those, as is said, "No todos dormian en la noche de nuestros abuelos." They were those who did not sleep but kept vigil in the night of our forefathers. We must never forget the people who sacrificed. People who, with their vision and actions sacrificed at the cost of their lives," the senator said.

"My father taught me to make fear my friend and to make the future my friend. He was the most courageous man I've ever met in my life. Quiet but steadfast in his fight for his country, for good governance, for his city city and its people and for the dignity of all. He was obviously aware of the roots of his grandfather, who was the first Filipino to win the battle against Spain by defeating a Spanish general, Capturing and handing over to General Aguinaldo the "Sable de Mando,' the Command Saber of the Spanish general. Our roots follow the motto: stand your ground and fight for justice and the upliftment of your fellow man," he added.

Gordon's father also left him a dictum that served as his guide. It goes, "'Be a leader, if you can't be a scholar, be a leader of men."

President Rodrigo Duterte, through Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea, signed Proclamation No. 136 on Monday afternoon. The proclamation declared January 17, 2017, as a special (non-working) day in Olongapo to mark the 100th birth anniversary of the late mayor.

"Whereas, James Leonard T. Gordon, was born to an American father and Filipino mother on 17 January, 1917, served his country as a Filipino, focused his days in public service on fighting corruption, and died a Filipino hero. Whereas, it is but fitting and proper that the people of the City of Olongapo be given full opportunity to celebrate and participate in the occasion with appropriate ceremonies," the resolution read.

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