PHILIPPINE NEWS SERVICE — House Speaker Jose de Venecia Jr. yesterday extended the hand of reconciliation after scoring a lopsided victory against his opponent in the fourth district of Pangasinan.
“With charity for all and with malice towards none, let us now begin to bind the nation’s wounds so that this nation can move forward,” De Venecia told newsmen at a press conference.
Partial unofficial count as of 10 Tuesday morning showed De Venecia garnering 74,708 votes against his opponent, Dagupan City Mayor Benjamin Lim’s 36,639 votes, as gathered from Dagupan City and San Fabian, Mangaldan, San Jacinto and Manaoag towns, with only about half of the votes counted.
In Dagupan City, De Venecia’s fellow candidates in the Lakas-Christian- Muslim Democrats (Lakas-CMD), former Immigration Commissioner Alipio Fernandez Jr. running for city mayor and former Councilor Belen Fernandez , for vice mayor, also scored landslide victories over opponents Brian Lim and Vlad Mata of the PDP-Laban.
“They say that victory has many fathers and defeat is an orphan. But this really is very true because tens of thousands have all helped to propel my glorious victory,” said De Venecia in an interview at his residence. De Venecia carried all his five mayoralty candidates to victory.
Before that, De Venecia and his wife Gina heard a Thanksgiving Mass at their residence celebrated by Fr. Felipe Matias, parish priest of adjacent San Gabriel Parish, attended by close supporters and campaign staff, including Barangay Captain Pedro Gonzales of Bonuan Binloc.
He said his victory was really expected because this was built on “years and years of hard work, sacrifice and the politics of performance.”
“You know, I brought so much infrastructure — schools, markets, hospitals, roads, bridges — agriculture, fisheries and scholarships, computers, and information technology to our district. All of these are bound to pay off and they had paid off,” De Venecia said.
He added that throughout the campaign, the relentless large-scale vote-buying by his opponent cannot cope with the avalanche of achievements that he presented to the people in the fourth district of Pangasinan.
“I ask our people that we now unite. I ask friends and foes alike that we now join forces so that we can move our nation forward.”
He reiterated that he will begin to reach out to his enemies, in the same way that he has reached out to the Moro National Liberation Front, Moro Islamic Liberation Front, the New People’s Army and the forces of the extreme Left and the extreme Right.
“As president of Lakas-CMD, which we are developing into a centrist party, we will try to bring all the forces closer to the center. By being in the center, we can reach out to the forces of the Left and of the Right,” he said.
He said this is the real key to the country’s unification. “When the country is united, it will be a foregone conclusion that “our battle against poverty will succeed,” De Venecia said.