FVR endorses senatorial bid of Joey de Venecia
By Jaime Laude
The Philippine Star
MANILA, Philippines – Former President Fidel Ramos is endorsing the senatorial bid of businessman Joey de Venecia, son and namesake of his political ally, former House speaker Jose de Venecia Jr.
Ramos voiced his support for De Venecia’s candidacy after speaking at a forum sponsored by the German-based Hanns Seidel Foundation Thursday evening at the New World Hotel in Makati City.
De Venecia was a whistleblower in the anomalous $329-million national broadband network deal with ZTE Corp. of China.
There were reports that Ramos was preparing to endorse the candidacy of Lakas standard-bearer Gilbert Teodoro Jr., but pressed by reporters yesterday, Ramos declined to name his preferred presidential candidate.
Instead of Teodoro showing up at the forum, it was the young De Venecia who appeared together with his father.
The older De Venecia, meanwhile, declared his intention to go all out in yanking out Lakas from its coalition with Kampi.
De Venecia said President Arroyo was to blame for the ruling party’s travails in the campaign.
“The party is sinking like the Titanic. We are running out of time. There is so much arrogance. It’s too much. Mrs. Arroyo thought they could throw their weight around,” De Venecia said.
De Venecia said that once they have reclaimed Lakas-CMD, they would be adopting a presidential candidate.
De Venecia said they would be working to create a bigger and broader rainbow coalition composed of key political parties.
Such coalition, he said, would thwart any moves of Malacañang to prolong the stay of Mrs. Arroyo in power in the event of a failure of elections.
De Venecia said he and Ramos are planning to meet other Lakas-CMD original members as part of their move to regain party leadership.
“Lakas is ours. They can have Kampi,” he said.
Meanwhile, the younger De Venecia said he was humbled by Ramos’ endorsement and vowed to fulfill his expectations. – With Jose Rodel Clapano