Senator Richard Gordon on Thursday expressed hope the younger generation of Filipinos would engage in the national discourse about important issues that matter to them in the run up to the May 2022 national elections.
Gordon made the call for the Filipino youth to speak up and assert their rights to participate in public afairs as he recalled his time as a law student who actively engaged in the 1971 Constitutional Convention (ConCon) 50 years ago.
The senator said he was a 26 years old then and he was the youngest delegate to the 1971 ConCon.
“I’m encouraged to seek that more and more young people are getting interested in politics. Like them, I have high hopes to be part of the change we want for our country and our people, especially among those marginalized,” Gordon said in a statement.
“Today, as our country is mired in a deep political divide, the youth play a very important role and contribution in shaping the political discourse. We need to listen more to the concerns and issues of our young people,” he added.
Gordon entered into politics after being elected as topnotcher among 23 candidates as a Zambales representative, winning in 12 out of 14 towns.
As the youngest delegate, the senator swore in Diosdado Macapagal as president of the 1971 ConCon, replacing then president Carlos P. Garcia who died 13 days after the convention was convened.
As a ConCon delegate, Gordon became vice chair of the foreign relations committee and pushed a platform of education reform, the duties and obligations of citizens, and the future of the American bases in Subic and Clark.
During his stint here, Gordon initiated a study on the strategic use of Subic and its possible conversion into a freeport, serving as inspiration for the establishment of the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority, which he chaired from 1992 to 1998.
Gordon said that with the country striving for a new identity, he hopes that the Filipino youth could also be more discerning in choosing the country’s next leaders for the next three to six years.
“The future of the country lies within your hands. Let us choose our leaders based on solid track record of public service and discern their true character beyond empty sloganeering and political gimmickries,” said Gordon, who is seeking a second term in the Senate in next year’s elections.