• Polls, not ‘pork, behind Tesda chief resignation

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    Director General Joel Villanueva of the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (Tesda) said he will resign from his post soon but not because of accusations that he pocketed from the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) or pork barrel scam.

    His finally leaving the Aquino Cabinet, he clarified on Tuesday, means that he has decided on running in the 2016 elections.

    In an interview with ABS-CBN’s morning show Umagang Kay Ganda, Villanueva said he was supposed to have dinner with his wife and his father, Jesus is Lord Movement founder Bro. Eddie Villanueva, to talk about his decision.

    The dinner was cancelled, however.

    Villanueva is reportedly being eyed in the senatorial slate of the Liberal Party, with Interior Secretary Manuel Roxas 2nd as its standard-bearer.

    “I am not going to resign because of the controversy. If I am to resign, it means I had made up my mind that I will run [for the Senate],” he said in Filipino.

    Villanueva added that he has not made up his mind, as he believes that some administration allies want him removed from President Benigno Aquino 3rd’s circle and this motivated the Justice department’s filing of graft charges against him.

    He said Roxas was not behind the complaint.

    Villanueva is one of several incumbent and former lawmakers included in the third batch
    of pork barrel-scam charges before the Ombudsman.

    He has insisted on his innocence.

    Villanueva pointed out a document used as evidence by the Department of Justice even got his party-list affiliation wrong, while another had the wrong letterhead.

    He said he intends to seek the President’s endorsement in case he decides to run for higher office in 2016.

    Meanwhile, Villanueva claimed his current television ads related to Tesda were funded by his supporters, not by the government.

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