DAGUPAN CITY – Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino senatorial candidate Jose “Joey” de Venecia III, son of Representative Jose de Venecia Jr., is home in Pangasinan to personally ask the help of his Kabaleyan (provincemates).

“If I win in Pangasinan (reaching the top spot of the senatoriables in Pangasinan), then I could be a senator of the country,” he said, acknowledging the big number of Pangasinense voters.

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Pangasinan is in the top five provinces of most number of registered voters recorded by the Commission on Elections.

“I'm banking on Pangasinan. But I also have to work double time because there are certain areas that I need to work on like Region 7, Cebu area and Bohol and some other places,” he said.

De Venecia III said the inherent political machinery of his father (five-time House Speaker and last termer fourth district Congressman Jose de Venecia Jr.) and being part of former President Joseph Estrada's ticket is a good combination to get him to the Senate.

He expressed appreciation to the people's awareness of him mainly as the controversial ZTE-NBN deal whistleblower and that of being a de Venecia.

“I endeared myself to the people dahil linabanan ko ang mga matataas na tao sa gobyerno,” he said.

“Converting this into votes is a different story,” he added, the reason why he is working hard.

Despite his father's falling out from the Arroyos because of the ZTE controversy, de Venecia III said his being a de Venecia is positive to his candidacy.

“People greet me when I go around, and these people are actually supporters of my father in the 1998 presidential election. My father asked me to run for congress in 1998, but I preferred to be in the private sector,” he said.

Seeing the living conditions of a lot of Filipinos as “I went around the country as speaker at different school campuses where I was invited to talk about the ZTE, influenced me to run for senator,” he added.

“My father is supporting me in the political side ... and in some ways financially to be able to manage my cause dahil madaming gastusin sa election. If you compare me with the candidates ahead of me who are senators, bumabalik na senator o mga congressmen na tumatakbong senator, malayo talaga ako sa resources,” he said.

De Venecia III is well aware that he will be compared to his father. “But I guess you will only know me if I got elected and what I do in the Senate. So we just have to wait.”

The senatorial bet's grandfather at the mother’s side is the late Speaker Eugenio Perez, the last Speaker of the Commonwealth period and the first Speaker of the Republic of the Philippines.