Duterte appoints ex-Speaker Jose de Venecia as special envoy

Camille Elemia
Duterte appoints ex-Speaker Jose de Venecia as special envoy
(UPDATED) The 80-year-old former Pangasinan lawmaker is back in government after a long break from politics

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – President Rodrigo Duterte appointed former speaker Jose de Venecia Jr as special envoy for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC).

This was announced by the Office of the Executive Secretary through a message to media. The OES sought to correct an earlier announcement that De Venecia was appointed “Special Envoy for Inter-Cultural Dialogue.”

“Erratum: Former Speaker JDV was appointed Special Envoy to APEC on 7 April 2017. This was recently clarified by OES. We apologize for the confusion,” reads the statement.

Malacañang made the earlier erroneous announcement on Tuesday, May 9, listing down De Venecia’s appointment with others who had their appointment papers signed by Duterte in April.

The confusion apparently extended to the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) as well since its spokesperson Robespierre Bolivar, said De Venecia was appointed Special Envoy for Inter-Cultural Dialogue. 

“JDV was appointed Special Envoy for Inter-Cultural Dialogue, April to Sept 2017,” Bolivar said in a text message to reporters.

Malacañang has yet not given details of De Venecia’s tasks under his new post. 

Duterte signed De Venecia’s appointment papers exactly a month after they met in Malacañang.

De Venecia is the founding chairperson of the standing committee of the International Conference of Political Parties (ICAPP), founder of the Asian Parliamentary Assembly (APA), and co-chair of the International Association of Parliamentarians for Peace (IAPP).

He served as speaker of the House of Representatives from 1992 to 1998, and from 2001 to 2008, or during the presidencies of Fidel Ramos and Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, respectively. He was representative of the 4th District of Pangasinan for a total of 6 terms.

De Venecia was also a peace envoy during the Ramos administration, and made a failed bid for president in 1998, finishing a distant second to Joseph Estrada.

He was one of Arroyo’s allies, but they had a falling out after his son, businessman Joey de Venecia, dragged the then-president and her husband, Jose Miguel Arroyo, into the NBN-ZTE corruption scandal in 2007. – Rappler.com

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Camille Elemia

Camille Elemia is Rappler's lead reporter for media, disinformation issues, and democracy. She won an ILO award in 2017. She received the prestigious Fulbright-Hubert Humphrey fellowship in 2019, allowing her to further study media and politics in the US. Email camille.elemia@rappler.com