PDP-Laban stands for re-elected Representive Mark Villar’s appointment as secretary of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) by presumptive President Rodrigo “Rody” Duterte despite alleged conflict of interest.
Senator Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III sees that there is no “outright” conflict of interest in the appointment.
"With regard to the DPWH (Department of Public Works and Highways) secretary coming from a family with subdivision projects, I do not see any outright conflict of interest," Pimentel said in a media interview.
"DPWH builds bridges, roads and other infrastructure of the government. There is no outright conflict of interest just from the mere fact that he came from a family which has subdivision projects," the senator added.
He also said that there would be conflict of interest if Villar is placed in a post in the Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board (HLURB) because it is the one which grants business permits.
Pimentel also said that if there would be a case which can be associated with the Villar’s real estate business, Mark Villar is not without any recourse.
"In the particular case that the proposed government infrastructure project will benefit one of your real properties, then you can, for that particular case, inhibit yourself from the decision-making process," he added.
However, there are existing legal impediments that must be first dealt with by Villar before assuming duties as secretary of public works in the new administration.
Election lawyer Romulo Macalintal said that Villar may face a criminal case in accepting the position in DPWH.
"Sa kanyang pagtanggap ng posisyon sa DPWH (Department of Public Works and Highways) ay baka magkaroon siya ng criminal case sa pagtanggi sa pagtupad sa kanyang tungkulin sa isang posisyon na siya ay nahalal," Atty. Romulo Macalintal said in a media interview.
Atty. Macalintal advised Villar to first take his oath of office, report at his office at the House of Representatives, then consequently resign by handing out a resignation letter.
"Hindi puwede ang diretso kaagad na hindi niya makikita ang kanyang tanggapan ay iiwanan niya kaagad ito. Inihalal naming (since he himself is a Las Pinas resident) siya tapos iyung pala, iiwanan ka kapag nakakita ng mas magandang position. Nangako sila na sila'y magbibigay ng trabaho, e iyun pala ay sila ang mag-aaply ng trabaho sa ibang lugar," he lamented.
"Palagay ko iyun ay hindi magandang tingnan dahil ipinangako niya na siya'y maglilingkod dito sa Las Piñas at hindi doon sa DPWH," he explained.