My hands were full last Monday when in the middle of interviews of those beauty contestants from different towns and cities in Northern Luzon, I was called by PR guy Gypsy Baldovino to proceed pronto to the bay side palatial home of the de Venecias in Dagupan City. After some niceties with former Speaker Joe de Venecia and his political leaders who were there, I found myself in a tête-à-tête with Rep. Gina de Venecia.
“Your ubiquity in the national scene makes you a senatorial material,” I quipped.
Rep. Gina, who was beautifully clad in his favourite pink colored blouse, asked me why.
“Of all the pictures and press releases your office sent us, we were struck seeing you banging the house gavel in the opening and closing of the session of the 13th Congress as “lady speaker, leading the present 65 lady solons that includes the irrepressible former First Lady Imelda Marcos, and the controversial former president Gloria M. Arroyo at your parental residence, and spending time with your ladies with President Noynoy Aquino lately at the palace. All of these were caught by the cameras and seen all over the country,” I stressed.
I told her those were propaganda coups no previous lady solon was able to exact.
Manay Gina told me that she tries to balance the limited funds she appropriate to the four towns and a city she represent in the August Body.
She said funds were oozing during the time of hubby Joe when he was five - time speaker.
A speaker of the House has an annual budget of P2 to P3 billion.
A congress person like Gina receives presently a measly P70 million (that would become P85 if the Road User Tax is approved anytime from now).
“The situation now is different. Under the Aquino Administration, congressional insertions are things of the past, “she declared.
She said this bodes well for Aquino’s “Matuwid na Daan (Straight road of incorruptibility).”
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