Richard Gomez and his wife, Ormoc City Representative Lucy Torres, were among the guests who graced the book launch of Not On Our Watch held yesterday, May 10, at the Metropolitan Museum in Manila.
The book is a compilation of stories about the detention and torture suffered by campus editors during the Martial Law regime.
This hardbound book was edited by Ms. Jo-Ann Maglipon, an activist-journalist during Martial Law, and currently editor-in-chief of YES! magazine and PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal).
During the book launch, PEP.ph had the chance to interview Richard about his political plans.
There have been reports saying that he is planning to run in the 2013 national elections. Will he run for mayor of Ormoc City?
“I’m preparing,” admitted Richard.
“Kasi tinalo na namin ang family ng incumbent mayor now. Of course, nawala ang seat nila sa Congress kasi nakuha ni Lucy.
“Sabi ko sa kanila, ’wag na silang manggulo kasi ang ganda ng ginagawang trabaho ni Lucy. There’s so much improvement, there’s so much progress sa Ormoc.
"Continuously, nanggugulo sila. I’ll be forced to run head to head against them.
"Ayaw nilang tumigil so maglaban tayo head to head. Lalabanan ko sila.”
He also revealed that his wife, Lucy, will seek re-election in 2013.
“Nagpa-survey ako. That survey will tell na ang layo talaga namin,” said the actor, who is currently part of the ABS-CBN teleserye Walang Hanggan.
Is he prepared for this political battle?
“Even before, I was very prepared,” he quickly answered.
It will be recalled that in 2010, Richard filed a candidacy to become a congressional representative in the fourth district of Leyte.
However, the Commission on Elections barred him from running since the Comelec said the actor lacked the required one year residency to join the congressional race.
What does he hope to change when he becomes elected?
“We need to bring in a lot of progress kasi Ormoc is already a city but progress is really minimal.
"Maraming taong walang trabaho, e, yun ang pinaka basic. You have to improve the lives of these people.”
If he wins, will he give up showbiz?
“I’ll have to. Something will have to give in,” he stressed.
Is he willing to do that?
“Sabi ko naman sa kanila [his political rivals] ‘wag silang manggulo sa amin. Why am I entering politics again? Because of our opponents’ decision.”
AGA MUHLACH. How does he feel about Aga Muhlach’s decision to run as congressman for the fourth district of Camarines Sur?
“I’m glad that Aga had a change of heart and that he’s willing to enter public service. Because mataas talaga ang trust rating ng mga artista.
"Kung makaupo siya in position ang marami kang magagawa, another plus na naman yun para sa mga artista.
"Nakikita nila ang mga artista na really hardworking people.”
ON MON-RAYMART-CLAUDINE CONTROVERSY. Richard had the chance to work with Raymart Santiago in the now-defunct GMA-7 sitcom Lagot Ka Isusumbong Kita.
Richard revealed that Lucy has filed a bill regarding the airport controversy involving Raymart, his wife Claudine Barretto, and broadcaster Mon Tulfo.
“Alam mo, there are two versions: ang version ni Mon Tulfo at version nina Raymart.
"Ang ginawa namin ni Lucy, to find out the truth, Lucy filed a bill to check kung ano ang laman ng CCTV camera sa airport.
“Kami, we couldn’t believe na may CCTV sa airport but it’s not working. It’s impossible.
"She filed a bill for Congress to investigate.
"Kung talagang walang recording ang CCTV, they’re liable for that.
"Pero kung lumabas na may CCTV recording pero tinatago lang nila, that’s another story.
"We have to see that para makita kung sino talaga ang nanggulo,” explained Richard.