JDV to fight ouster move

PHILIPPINE NEWS SERVICE — Former Speaker Jose de Venecia will fight off partymates who want him expelled from Lakas as punishment for testifying in the impeachment proceedings against President Macapagal-Arroyo.

De Venecia said the President and her husband Mike Arroyo are egging Lakas members to discipline him.

“This is part of harassment, part of the persecution, part of the vilification by Pres. Arroyo and Mike Arroyo. I’m sure they are part of this political harassment,” he said.

“First, they ousted me as House Speaker, then they removed me as Lakas President. What else do they want to do, remove me from the party that I founded?” he said.

De Venecia said he will not leave Lakas.

“Bakit ako aalis? Ako ang nagtayo nito. Ang dapat na umalis ay yung mga saling-pusa,” he said.

Speaker and Lakas President Prospero Nograles said the Lakas-CMD Executive Committee will meet next week to discuss the possible sanctions that may be imposed against De Venecia.

The former Speaker said he will form a “formidable” coalition next year and will invite the opposition to put up a bigger rainbow coalition for the 2010 elections.

“Many have told me that early next year they are ready to cross the road,” De Venecia said, referring to some Malacañang allies.

He said the coalition will have its own presidential and vice presidential candidates.

“This is not Lakas anymore, it will be an enlarged rainbow coalition. We’re not asking anyone to bolt their party, they can stay with their party and create a new ruling political majority,” De Venecia said.

“Anyone associated with GMA is doomed to defeat. Public opinion is very strong,” he added.