The Senate adopted on Wednesday, February 10, a resolution expressing its condolences for the passing of former congressman and Olongapo City mayor James “Bong” Gordon, Jr.
Members of the Upper Chamber unanimously adopted Senate Resolution No. 87 in honor of James, who died on Tuesday, February 9, at the age of 73.
James is the younger brother of incumbent Senator Richard J. Gordon. His family did not disclose the cause of his death but local reports said he died due to cardiac arrest.
“He was a natural leader who learned the ropes from his family of public servants, particularly his parents, Mayor James L. Gordon and Mayor Amelia Gordon, and his older brother and our very dear friend Sen. Richard J. Gordon,” Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri said in sponsoring the resolution.
“His passing, Mr. President, is a great loss for Olongapo City and the country,” he added.
Zubiri said he personally fondly remembers James as “Cong. Bong”, having served in the House of Representatives together.
“He was such a kind man, who has such a talent and infectious passion for music. Such a happy spirit,” he added.
Sen. Joel Villanueva, who also worked with James as a congressman, recalled the former solon as a “very nice and amiable gentleman”.
Sen. Gordon tearfully thanked his colleagues for their sympathy.
“I would just like to thank everybody, especially Migz, and Sen. Villanueva, and all of you, my friends for…remembering my brother,” he said.
Before this, the senator said he was “totally shattered” over his brother death.
In a tribute posted on Facebook late Tuesday night, he said: “My brother Bong was an approachable person who was ready to help those in need. He had a soft voice that would only ever get loud when he sang rock and roll. He lived simply and never owned an expensive car.”
“Even in his youth, Bong was a dedicated servant-leader who became class president. His strength and fortitude extended to his days as a Subic Bay volunteer, as a city councilor, as a congressman, and ultimately as Mayor of Olongapo.”
He further wrote: “He was always kind, but he stood firm to serve Olongapo well. He was a gentle younger brother whom I loved dearly.”
“I bid him goodbye with two kisses, just like the last time we got to kiss our father goodbye. My little brother, you have also been a guide and inspiration to me. I am immensely proud to be your big brother. Rest well, Bong,” Sen. Gordon said.
James served as a representative of Zambales’ first district from 1995 to 2004, before serving as a three-term mayor of Olongapo city from 2004 to 2013.
He was also a volunteer and a governor of the board of directors of the Philippine Red Cross chapter in Olongapo.
He is survived by his wife, former Zambales vice governor Anne Marie Gordon, and their daughter Amelie Jane.