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Senator Cynthia Villar yesterday rejected assumptions there would be a conflict of interest in the appointment of her son, Rep. Mark Villar as Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) secretary.
Villar, a third term congressman of the Lone District of Las Piñas City has been named by incoming President Rodrigo Duterte as the DPWH chief when he assumes the presidency in July.
The senator said her son has wholeheartedly accepted the position after Duterte made the announcement after a press conference in Davao City.
The announcement was done vis-à-vis the forging of a coalition between the Nacionalista Party (NP) and the Partido ng Demokratikong Pilipino-Laban (PDP-Laban) which supported the candidacy of Duterte during the May 2016 elections.
“He (Duterte) said he wanted an honest person, no corruption. That was what he told Mark. As long as he would be honest and no corruption,” Villar said in a phone interview.
The senator said there is no truth to speculations her son would use the DPWH position to build roads where most of their real estate projects are located.
“The DPWH is for the people. The roads are for the people,” she said.
“There would be none (conflict of interest) because we’ve never asked public roads to be built where our projects or our properties are located,” she said.
“We haven’t done it…unless very necessary to the point they have no other choice but to pass through our area. But that is not really important because we can build our own roads,” said Villar, the richest senator based on her latest Statement of Assets, Liabiliites and Net worth (SALN).
Villar’s father, real estate magnate, Nacionalista Party president and former Senate President Manuel Villar, previously ran for president in the May 2010 elections but lost to President Benigno Aquino III.
Senator Villar admitted she and her husband “quietly supported” Duterte’s presidential bid in the May 2016 elections.
Villar said they cannot vocally announce their support to Duterte’s candidacy because three of their members in the NP were running for vice president.