Villanueva takes oath of office as senator in hometown Bulacan
BOCAUE, Bulacan—Senator-elect Joel Villanueva took his oath of office in his hometown on Wednesday afternoon, becoming the first Bulakeño in more than 20 years to become senator.
Villanueva, who ran independent but was allied with the Liberal Party, being a member of the Aquino Cabinet, took his oath before Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa Jr., his fellow Bulacan native, in rites in front of the St. Martin de Tours Parish Church here.
The former director general of the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority opted to take his oath in his hometown as he wanted to begin a new phase in his life “in a place very close to his heart,” read a statement from his office.
Villanueva won his first attempt at a Senate seat with 18.46 million votes, placing second in the winning roster of 12. He is the first Bulacan native to be elected to the chamber since the late Blas Ople was elected in 1992.
He won despite being among former lawmakers tagged in the P10-billion pork barrel scam, charges he has many times denied. Villanueva, son of evangelist Bro. Eddie Villanueva, had first served in the House of Representatives, breaking into the chamber in February 2002 at 25, its youngest member at the time.
His siblings are also in politics: Outgoing Bocaue Mayor Jonjon Villanueva is turning over the post to sister Joni Villanueva. They were also present at the oath-taking.
Also present were parents Eddie and Adoracion, wife Gladys, and children Jaden and Gwyn.
Outgoing Foreign Secretary Rene Almendras and former and incumbent local Bulacan officials also witnessed Villanueva’s oath-taking.
At the Senate, Villanueva vowed to push for legislation concerning education and jobs, areas where he had worked as Tesda chief.
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