Baby Arenas, Toff de V win big

LINGAYEN—Two popular congressmen won anew by landslide over their opponents and proved they remain a force to reckon with in Pangasinan politics in Monday’s polls.

Third District Rep. Rose Marie “Baby” Arenas (PDP-Laban) and Fourth District Rep. Christopher ‘Toff” de Venecia (Lakas) won overwhelmingly by getting 70 to 80 percent of the votes cast in their respective district.

Arenas obtained 242,465 votes while her opponents, former Calasiao mayor Felipe de Vera got 41,653 votes and Jaime Aquino with 5,655.

Arenas, a known socialite and philanthropist, won her third term.

On the other hand, De Venecia trounced his opponents by getting 166,917 votes or 73.21 percent of votes cast. His three other opponents and their votes garnered are as follows: former Dagupan City vice mayor Alvin Fernandez (43,718), Dagupan City Councilor Red Erfe-Mejia (15,655) and Winky Manaois (1,680).

De Venecia, son of former five-time House Speaker Jose de Venecia Jr. and former congresswoman Gina de Venecia, was elected to his second term.

In an interview, Arenas said the result of the elections “is a rude awakening for losers and a resounding wake-up call as well to winners to work harder and to value the mandate they received”.

Arenas’ district has the biggest number of registered voters among the six districts in Pangasinan.

“One must not depend on money or goods to give to the people during the campaign but must work non-stop, with or without elections,” she said, when asked about factors of her political victory.

She added that the election is just one day in the voter’s lives but the work of the elected must be carried out year-round during their mandate.

“There is work in the new challenges that needed to be overcome; there is work that calls us to meet the needs of others; there is work that must be done so that we can make this world a better place,” Arenas added.

For his part, de Venecia, who was emotional while being proclaimed winner by the Provincial Board of Canvassers, said “it was a long journey getting to this point that’s why I was quite emotional”.

He added it was a bitter-sweet victory because of the loss of some of his key allies.

He said he is extremely grateful to all who helped him in the campaign and all who voted for him.

“It is heartening and invigorating to serve,” he added.

He vowed “to work my absolute hardest to be able to provide for the needs of our constituents and to usher legislation that was unfinished under the current administration to be refiled in the 18th Congress”. (With PhilStar Wire Service)

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