Richard Gomez is running for congressman of Ormoc City in next year's elections.
This was personally confirmed by Richard this afternoon, October 13, during the press launch of the second season of his game show Family Feud, at the Studio 5 of GMA Network Center. Richard's wife, Lucy Torres-Gomez, is a native of the fourth district of Leyte province.
According to the actor, he initially did not want to run in Ormoc City because he did not want Lucy's family to be disrupted by a political campaign. But he changed his mind when Lucy's father asked him to start a congressional bid, so they could bring "progress and improvement" there.
"In fact, ayoko talagang tumayo sa politics sa Ormoc sa una pa lang," Richard said. "Siyempre, ayoko namang guluhin yung family nila [Lucy] dun. Pero it was the father of Lucy who gave the blessings, e. Sabi niya, 'Wala talagang mangyayari sa Ormoc, let's try to do something about it.'"
Richard was also convinced to run when a survey they conducted to gauge his campaign came back positive. This is indicative of the people's dissastisfaction with the current state of their government there, he said.
"Alam mo yung tao kasi sa Ormoc, sila talaga yung naghahanap ng bago sa kanila, e... They're not happy with what's happening now," he said. "Saka yung survey namin, mataas talaga, e, 54 percent... In fact, pati yung slate dun sa mayoral candidates, lahat 'yan, mataas talaga survey nila."
This is not the first time that Richard is aspiring for an electoral seat. In 2001, he ran as a party-list representative for Mamamayan Ayaw sa Droga (MAD), an anti-drug group which he heads. MAD gained a lot of votes in the elections, but it was later disqualified as a party-list by the Commission on Elections because it was first funded by the government.
In 2007, Richard also ran for senator as an independent candidate and lost. Looking back, the actor said he was not ready that time anyway.
"Yung sa Senate naman, parang napilitan lang ako na tumakbo for Senate dahil alam mo, may nag-contribute na mga pera. I don't want to disappoint," he explained.
BOOSTING TOURISM. This time around, Richard is already busy preparing for the elections. He even has an early platform, which focuses on tourism.
"Yung Ormoc kasi has the potential of being a tourist destination," Richard said. "Kaya lang, for the past couple of years, wala talagang... hindi talaga nagawan ng maayos na tourism program. In fact, walang tourism program. Yun ang problema dun, e."
Richard explained that establishing a tourism program in Ormoc City would instantly mean progress.
"Alam mo ang trigger effect niyan, diretso ang kuwarta niyan, ang pera niya sa tao, e. Sa mga business establishments nila," he said.
EARLY SUPPORTERS. Friends in and out of showbiz already expressed support for his campaign even at this early stage.
"Marami-rami rin sila, pero yung support naman nila will come in pagdating ng campaign period. That will come in by next year pa, by April and May," Richard said.