Jose “Joey” De Venecia III aimed to win the contract for National Broadband Network (NBN). He lost. Not enough, he was grilled in a national controversy! That changed the life of Joey. From being a private individual to a public figure. He bid and lost in a business contract. Now he is dreaming to become a senator.
About the image: Joey De Venecia filed his certificate of candidacy at the COMELEC. He is running (as newest party member) under Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino (PMP) of former President Erap Estrada. Image is from Facebook profile of Joey De Venecia.
Will fate favors Joey De Venecia this time?
This time, no one told him to back off! Perhaps many are now telling him to continue his fight. It can be recalled that Joey De Venecia revealed, during Senate hearing, that he was told by a ‘mystery man’ to “back off” from the NBN deal. And the mystery man was allegedly First Gentleman Mike Arroyo. (Listen to Joey’s testimony from the PCIJ blog.)
As veteran businessman, he lost in a billion Pesos worth of deal. Now as newcomer to politics, will he go home victorious?
Joey De Venecia was here is Cebu to meet some youth leaders and bloggers. To campaign, of course.
Before I went to attend the meet and talk with Joey De Venecia, I asked three neighbors if they think Joey will win. I got, ambot lang kaha (We don’t know.), paminawon lang (Let’s see.), kinsa man na? (Who is he?).Will they vote for him? I got, wa pay siguro (Maybe).
Who is Joey De Venecia?
Who is Joey? NBN-ZTE deal witness. Son of Jose De Venecia. Apparently, we see him as the one who lost in a bidding and whistle-blow about bribes and corruption.
More than that, Joey De Venecia is a successful businessman. His biography in his official website (joeydevenecia.com) claimed that Joey changed the Philippine business landscape when he founded and launched broadband technology in the Philippines in 2000.
The same site says that Joey de Venecia III also pioneered and set up the first full-pledged call center in the Philippines.
Why he wants to become senator?
In an anti-Arroyo rally held in Makati, he introduced himself as negosyante and hindi pulitiko. (See the video of his speech on YouTube.)
So, he is not a politician as he claimed, but why is now running as senator? Why he entered into politics? Is it because he needs to? Or is it because he wants to? Or because he is now known? Many known people wants to go to politics. There are exemptions, of course.
I asked why he is now entering into politics. Before he answered, he clarified that he is a politician as he entered into the world of politics but clarified that he is not a traditional politician. He entered into politics because he has seen there is a need for him to contribute his expertise.
I agree, he is not the traditional candidate I have meet. during the entire talk, I never heard him sour-graping. He focused on his platform rather than on throwing mud to other candidates.
New to politics?
Politics is not a new thing for Joey De Venecia. His father served five terms as House Speaker. Politics must be in his blood. Still, having not held any elective post, being newbie in politics is undebatable.
One thing we are not sure this time is that if he had already “played” with politicians. Let us remember that his father, former Speaker Jose De Venecia, Jr., was still in his position when Joey bid for NBN.
There is one thing I am sure of. Joey De Venecia changed the political landscape of the country. Without his testimony in the Senate, his father could still have been the House Speaker. JDV could still be the staunch ally of President Arroyo.
Was it the turn of events drag him to politics?
The aborted NBN project was the culprit. It was the controversy that made him known.
Joey was tagged as “whistle-blower” to the alleged corruption in the aborted ZTE-NBN deal. But I only see him as witness to the case, not as whistle-blower. I agree with Sen. Richard Gordon who told that Joey could never be considered a whistle-blower because there were many times in this scandal that he could have blown the whistle, but did not. He only started complaining when he did not get his way. (See Inquirer.net report.)
What are his plans?
His TV ads project this message: computer connected to internet for everyone. He stressed that a computer connected to the internet in every Filipino home [will] give everyone access to livelihood and educational opportunities and bring the country firmly into the Information Age.
He elaborated that a personal computer, internet access and information support will have an immediate and dramatic impact on Filipino families [and] would give them enhanced educational and livelihood opportunities that are only available from IT, and a means for OFW families to re-integrate with their loved ones working abroad by commuting on the cyber-highway.
Is it possible? Joey said, this is not an impossible dream, but rather a realizable goal.
After the short talk, in a chit-chat with fellow Cebu bloggers, I asked some of them if nodding of their heads as Joey talked can be understood as equivalent to votes. I got mixed answers. Somewhat the same and somewhat different to the answers I got when I asked to my three neighbors.
The best title of this should have been, Joey De Venecia III: From business to politics. But the title has been written and I opted not to change it.