Pangasinan Rep. Jose De Venecia Jr. on Wednesday tendered his "irrevocable resignation" as president-emeritus of Lakas-Christian Muslim Democrats (Lakas-CMD), the political party he co-founded with former President Fidel Ramos in 1992.
He said he will not seek membership in the new party that will be officially launched on Thursday, a merger of two administration parties, the Lakas-CMD and President Arroyo's political party, Kabalikat ng Malayang Pilipino (Kampi).
"I leave the Lakas merger with Kampi without regrets because it is no longer of our original vision," he said in a letter to the National Directorate of Lakas-CMD.
De Venecia formed Lakas-Tao, the precedent of Lakas-CMD, in 1992 to support the presidential bid of then defense chief Fidel Ramos.
With Ramos’s victory, Lakas expanded its power base and has since become the dominant political party, except during the Estrada administration. De Venecia was House Speaker from 1992 to 1998. He ran for the presidency in 1998 but lost to Joseph Estrada.
De Venecia was elected Speaker again in 2001 and held the post until he was ousted in February 2008 after a falling out with President Arroyo over a corruption scandal. He was also removed as president of Lakas-CMD.
De Venecia's son, Joey, dragged the First Couple into the allegedly anomalous US$329-million National Broadband Network (NBN) deal with Chinese company, ZTE Corp.. The contract has since been cancelled.
Although he was ousted president of Lakas-CMD, De Venecia was given an honorary title--president-emeritus--but was largely ignored by party members.
JDV's resignation letter
The National Directorate
Thru Senator Juan Miguel Zubiri
Secretary General, Lakas CMD
My dear colleagues,
Since I have been opposed to the proposed merger between Lakas CMD and KAMPI, which I understand, is scheduled to be approved tomorrow, I hereby tender my irrevocable resignation as President Emeritus of the party.
With all due respects, I shall not seek membership in the proposed merged party, Lakas-KAMPI-CMD.
I shall continue to cherish the great moments which attended our establishment of the party which we founded in January 1992 with President Fidel Ramos and Raul Manglapus and which led to our political victories in 1992, our creation of the Lakas-led Rainbow Coalition in the early 1990s and the sustained economic gains int he last decade of the last century.
Indeed, I had the privilege to serve in various capacities in Lakas CMD from 1991-1998 as secretary general, president, chairman, co-chairman and since last year as president emeritus.
In 2008, when without my asking you elected me President Emeritus, I said then that the post of President Emeritus was not an active one, that I would be free to serve as conscience of the party, free to criticize and give credit as the occasion demands.
Thus today I formalize my resignation as President Emeritus of Lakas-CMD.
I have spent the last 17 years seeking faithfully to promote its centrist democratic ideals and governance principles and have helped advance its fame at home and abroad.
But today, I leave the Lakas merger with Kampi without regrets because it is no longer of our original vision.
Jose De Venecia Jr.