Joel Villanueva, head of the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (Tesda), who is considering runninf for senator next year, is not joining the Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC).
Villanueva made the clarification following speculations that he will bolt the Liberal Party (LP) because he was seen joining an NPC meeting with Senators Grace Poe and Francis Escudero last week.
The NPC is headed by businessman Eduardo “Danding” Cojuangco Jr., uncle of President Benigno Aquino 3rd.
“I still head Cibac (Citizens’ Battle Against Corruption) party-list as Chairman/President and its normal to coalesce. I am grateful and humbled by their gesture of support to my advocacy in Tesda…[but there is]no final decision for me to run [for Senate in 2016],” Villanueva said in a text message.
“I go to NPC events because I am also close to their members. They invited me, and the NPC raising my hand is a welcome development should I go for it this 2016 elections,” he added.
Villanueva’s brother-in-law, House Deputy Majority Leader Sherwin Tugna of Cibac party-list, believes that the Tesda chief will not join another political party.
“It is early to tell what party Secretary Villanueva will join because I believe he has so much debt of gratitude to the President who gave him a break and allowed him to continue serving the public. More important, Secretary Villanueva’s friendship with the President transcends politics,” Tugna said.
“He respects the President so much,” he added.
The president has heaped lavish praises for Villanueva because of his accomplishments at Tesda, particularly his programs aiming to provide more employment opportunities.
The skills training agency observes its 21st anniversary today.