DAGUPAN CITY — Many were rendered speechless when they learned about the unexpected withdrawal of Rep. Gina de Venecia from the congressional race in the fourth district of Pangasinan and her replacement by her youthful son Christopher, best known for his nickname “Toff”.
The wife of former five-time Speaker Jose de Venecia Jr. backed out from a race where she is a likely sure winner as she was running against four unknown aspirants, all of them filed their certificates of candidacy as independent bets.
Her opponents and now Christopher de Venecia’s opponents are Angel Bautista Aquino, Catherine Aquino Blanco, Arvin Tambaoan de Guzman, Ronaldo Melendez Ebreo and Mario Gallardo Operana.
In her past two political fights, Mrs. De Venecia whipped twice in a row by a big margin of victory the wife of former Dagupan Mayor Benjamin Lim, Celia, and in the coming election only lightweight opponents as Celia is now challenging another tough opponent Mayor Belen Fernandez of Dagupan.
Both the husband and wife Joe and Gina gave their blessings to “Toff” to finally throw his hat into the political arena in the Fourth District of Pangasinan, where their parents reigned since 1988 and even before Ferdinand Marcos proclaimed partial law in 1972.
The couple believes that it is about time they pass the baton of leadership to their heir-apparent “Toff” who, though not in politics, is a writer, columnists and a magazine editor.
In a joint statement just after accompanying their son to file his COC before the Provincial Elections Office as substitute candidate for congressman under the Liberal Party (LP), they said:
“Now in our senior years and in the course of our reduced work activity, we take this humble opportunity to recommend for consideration by our people the election of our son, Christopher de Venecia (Toff) for the position of Congressman of the 4th District of Pangasinan, which includes Dagupan City, Mangaldan, San Fabian, San Jacinto and the miraculous Blessed Virgin Mary town of Manaoag. . to hopefully continue our humble legacy of public service to our Pangasinan constituents and the Filipino people.”
As a substitute of his mother, Toff will campaign side- by-side with Mayors Belen Fernandez of Dagupan, Bona Fe Parayno of Mangaldan, Danny Agbayani of San Fabian, Robert de Vera of Manaoag, and Kim Amador of Manaoag, all LP stalwarts.
The De Venecias said their son is expected to further continue the successful and sustained programs of his parents in building modern infrastructure, schools, markets, roads healthcare, hospitals and rural clinics, bolstering tourism, agriculture, irrigation, fisheries, cooperatives and job-creating livelihood opportunities, small to medium-scale industries, programs for women empowerment and others. PNA