Sen. Villar defends son’s posting as DPWH chief


SENATOR Cynthia Villar came to the defense of his son, Las Pinas City (Metro Manila) Rep. Mark Villar, who was recently named by incoming President Rodrigo Duterte as the next Public Works secretary, and insisted that there is no conflict of interest in the appointment.

Villar, a member of the Nacionalista Party that recently coalesced with Duterte’s Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban), over the weekend pointed out that their family is in the housing business, not road construction.

“We are not the contractor for the Department of Public Works and Highways [DPWH]. So what’s the conflict of interest there? It’s not our business to do business with public works all our life,” the senator said in a radio interview.

She issued the statement in reaction to criticism on her son’s appointment to the DPWH, saying it would place Villar in conflict with his family’s property business.

Election lawyer Romulo Macalintal even warned of a possible violation of law if the younger Villar, a congressman-elect, will accept his appointment as DPWH chief and abandon his position as Las Piñas representative.

The election lawyer said Villar could be held liable for violating Article 234 of the Revised Penal Code or “refusal to discharge elective office,” which is punishable by arresto mayor or a fine not exceeding P1,000, or both.

Senator Villar insisted that she sees nothing wrong with the decision of her son to accept the offer of Duterte at the proper time.

“We have been in public service since 1992 and we haven’t done anything illegal. Do they think we will do something illegal right now? My God, we are being underestimated,” she said.

Villar also assured the public that her son will perform well as the head of the agency because aside from not being corrupt, Mark is also a well-educated individual having a bachelor’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania and a master’s degree from the University of Chicago.

“You know, I educated my children. I told them to work hard. They’re really working hard. So I’m very proud of my children. It would be better if they [critics]would look at their children if they are okay, before criticizing the children of others,” the senator said.


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  1. As usual, Sen. Villar is off the mark in her reasoning. We are not questioning the academic credentials of her son Mark. We are questioning and highly suspecting that the Villar business will use the information that his son shall be privy to, the minute he will head the DPWH, to enhance the Villar business.

    To elucidate, I’m willing to bet that the minute the Villars will know where the next highways or railways will be built, the Villars will be in a mad rush to buy up the areas abutting those future highways, for development as a Villar subdivision. Of course, the DPWH will not be building roads inside any Villar subdivision. This would be too obvious. They would instead invest in their future development (by storing up an inventory of lots they will buy cheaply) once the Villars know where the new roads and infrastructures will be built. This is the kind of sinister activities that we want to prevent in the DPWH. There are other qualified people who have no conflict of interest. So why not select from them? The mere fact that Mark Villar is giving up an elective office to gun after the DPWH post is an indication that he foresees more money coming his way through the DPWH appointment. So never mind the voters of Las Pinas who voted for him. It’s obvious they do not count in the Villar’s scale of financial values. Imagine! Mark Viullar is just starting a political career and already PALPAK na!

    • Mike Quebral on

      Self-serving motivation can readily be seen in accepting the DPWH portfolio by representative -elect Mark Villar. Few days after getting elected he will dishonor his election and accepted the DPWH portfolio. He have no intention of serving the people of Paranaque since the beginning no matter what he said during his campaign. Being DPWH secretary put him in a better position that would benefit his family’s business than as a congressman of his constituents in Paranaque.

      The possibility of insider information about DPWH projects in the country that might be known to the Villars’ business is at stake.

      It is critically important for any real estate venture capitalist like the Villar this kind of information and disadvantageous to their competitors.

      Give this appointment to a qualified appointee that have no vested interest in real estate business.

  2. Ay naku, Senator… Siempre you will defend your son. Your son may not be directly involved in contracts with the DPWH, but he will know where buildings, roads, and other structures will be built by the Gov’t.. Then prior to the Gov’t beginning its projects, your husband or your company or your surrogate can come in and buy the land and old houses/buildings already in that place. Then your real estate development company can sell these properties to the Gov’t at a highly inflated price, or it will construct new houses near the road projects and then sell these to the public at a tremendous profit. Isn’t this MO part of the reason why your husband lost his presidential bid in a earlier election contest? The people realized he was in it for self-interest, not for service to the country.

    If the Villar family has a sense of “delicadeza”, Mark Villar will withdraw his acceptance of the DPWH position and serve his new term as congressman for Las Pinas. As Atty. Macalintal says: what he is doing is illegal.

    high p