Transcript of Sen. Gordon's Interview on Obama-Duterte issue - September 6, 2016

Gordon: You know, you have to look not at the form but at what he is trying to say. He is not a cosmopolitan figure by the way most presidents and most people who are in high places come from. He is very direct. His diplomatic skills may still be wanting, but he is going to learn very fast. And to my mind we should look at the intent of the individual. To me he is very sincere in eradicating the drug problem which, by the way other countries have not been. 91% of this country have not really complained about what is happening. Nobody knows who are doing the vigilante killings. Again nobody knows about the motorcycle killings that has been going on in this country for a long time and nobody is complaining, even in the international community. Even if their people are being beheaded by the Abu Sayyaf and now, finally after so many bombing of ships, plazas - you know 116 people were killed in the ferryboat here about few years ago, 39 people were killed in Parang and in 2003 there were 2 killings by bombings, etc. We have a problem and nobody really wanted to have any solution to it. Now that it is being addressed. We have a very, very stressful situation in this country today and the President obviously has so much in his plate. Sometimes he will be prone to making statements that he would not otherwise say if the problems were not that tremendous. He wants to solve the problem.

 Reporter: sir, should the President adjust?

Gordon: Definitely. But on the other hand, other people like us and other people from other countries must learn to adjust that you are looking at a different individual -- a rough, straight talking person who delivers a right down the throat message. Hindi yung talagang diplomacy na kung minsan ay nag-uungguyan lang sila, sinasabing magkaibigan tayo pero nagsasaksakan sila kapag nakatalikod. Mabuting kausapin, yung derecho ang salita at nagsasabi ng tapat. By the way, Mr Duterte knows that mahaba ang samahan natin ng mga Amerikano. We have about 2-3 million Filipinos abroad, in the US. Alam niya yung relasyon natin ay importante. Pero tama siya. Ang relasyon natin ay hindi yung una ang interes ng Amerikano bago sa atin tapos sasabihin equal tayo. Hindi primus inter pares, dapat parehas lang. After all, pinakinabangan din naman tayo ng America. After all, the same accusation could have been made when in the Battle of Bud Dajo, Sulu where there was a massacre at the end of the century. At that time, America would have been judged as a rogue country, killing people. Now that America achieved its economic superiority throughout the world, they can judge other countries. I think other countries must remind themselves that we are in the process of evolution. We are trying to be a better country.

 Reporter: sir do you think this incident will hurt our relation with the US?

 Gordon: No I don’t think so. Countries work on national interest not on personalities alone. Even Obama’s statement reflected that. Sabi niya "very colorful". Remember itong si Obama ay galing sa Chicago yan. Yun mga tao sa New York, Chicago, mga siga ang mga salita dyan. May mga nagbabarilan din dati dyan. May mga massacre din dyan noong araw. At naiintindihan nya kung medyo maanghang ang salita pero ang sabi nya ang relasyon natin ay "beyond that". Ang relasyon natin sa US ay mahaba pa at marami pa tayong pagsasamahan kaya hindi ako natatakot doon. Maybe, sa akin, at the very least, both Presidents missed a golden opportunity na mag-usap at magkakilalanan. Dapat nag shake hands sila, nagka-usap, nagbiruan at nag kwentuhan sila. Yan ang importante. Dapat hindi pa huli yan. Kung ako ang mga Amerikano, huwag silang napipikon dahil iba pa rin ang kultura natin. Humahabol pa rin tayo dun sa tinatawag na political correctness, di ba. Importante yan, kung hahabulin natin yung political correctness talaga eh medyo nahuhuli ang Pilipinas kaya dapat ay medyo maintindihan tayo ng ibang bansa na ang pangulo natin ay talagang ibang klase. Iba ang context nya, iba ang porma ng salita niya pero yung intent ang mas mahalaga.

 Reporter: thank you sir

 UPDATE: The president has already expressed regret in using obscenities in his comments about Obama. And to my mind, rightfully so.

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