Representative Gina de Venecia of Pangasinan province, the wife of former Speaker Jose de Venecia Jr. and a former ally of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, has led the new recruits of the ruling Liberal Party (LP), it was learned on Monday.
LP member and Rep. Romero Quimbo of Marikina noted that the oathtaking of De Venecia, alongside as Reps. Joseller Guiao of Pampanga, Aileen Radaza of Lapu-Lapu City in Cebu and Nicasio Aliping Jr. of Baguio City.
The four lawmakers took their oath before LP’s Acting President Joseph Abaya who also serves as the Secretary of Department of Transportation and Communcations, Belmonte and other LP stalwarts.
“This is part of the continuing process of strengthening the ruling
party,” Quimbo pointed out.
Mrs. de Venecia was a former member of the Nationalist People’s
Coalition—the ruling party in vote-rich Pangasinan.
Her husband, former Speaker de Venecia, has been an ally of former President Arroyo for at least a decade. Mr. de Venecia even teamed up with then Senator Arroyo during the 1998 Presidential elections.
De Venecia lost the Presidency badly to then Vice President Joseph Estrada but Arroyo resoundingly won the Vice President post against Estrada’s running mate, former Senator Edgardo Angara.
De Venecia and Arroyo, however, went separate ways during the 2007 NBN-ZTE broadband deal controversy because de Venecia’s son, Joey, alleged that the government’s $329 million NBN ZTE broadband deal with a Chinese firm is overpriced.
Then President Arroyo canceled the NBN-ZTE project.
The entry of Mrs. de Venecia and her three other colleagues hiked the number of LP members in the House to 117. LLANESCA T. PANTI