MANILA, Philippines--(UPDATE 2) President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has appointed Commission on Audit (COA) Commissioner Reynaldo A. Villar as the new chair of the independent constitutional audit body, Press Secretary Ignacio Bunye said Friday.
Reynaldo is the brother of Undersecretary Antonio A. Villar Jr., the head of the Presidential Anti-Smuggling Group.
The Palace search committee had nominated the elder Villar following the retirement of COA Chair Guillermo Carague in February.
"Since the retirement of Caraque, (Reynaldo) has been performing the task as acting commissioner," said Bunye, adding:
"This is more or less a permanent appointment, subject to the confirmation of the Commission on Appointments."
Reynaldo will serve a fixed term of seven years until 2011.
The chairman and two other commissioners comprise the highest policy-making body of COA, which has the power, authority and duty to examine, audit and settle all accounts pertaining to the revenue and receipts of, and expenditures or uses of funds and property, owned or held in trust by, or pertaining to government.
It was President Arroyo who had appointed Reynaldo, then COA's Department Legislative Liaison Officer with the rank of Assistant Commissioner, replacing Commissioner Raul C. Flores who retired after completing his seven-year term on Feb. 2, 2004.
The President personally handed to him the appointment which she issued on Feb. 7, 2004 during her recent visit to Villar's hometown, Binalonan, Pangasinan.
When he took his oath in 2004, he vowed to give his "best to the service of our beloved Commission on Audit, the government and the Filipino people."
Reynaldo rose from the ranks after joining COA in 1988.
He successively held the positions of Staff Officer II, Graft Investigator and Prosecutor and Human Resource Management Officer.
He had a stint in politics as provincial board member of Pangasinan from 1980 to 1986.
Prior to that, he was Convention Floor Leader of the 1971 Constitutional Convention.
He passed the Bar in 1968.
As a young lawyer, he served as legal assistant to the governor of Pangasinan in 1968 and later as technical assistant to the general manager of the Philippine Virginia Tobacco Administration.
He has a 10-year record of law practice and was Constitutional Law Professor at the Ateneo College of Law in 1982.
A former Jaycee chapter president, Commissioner Villar is now a senator of the Philippine Jaycees. Also a Rotarian, he is a Charter member and was cofounder of the Urdaneta (Pangasinan) chapter of the Rotary Club.
He has three children with spouse Lilli Concepcion-Villar, a retired teacher.
His father, Antonio P. Villar Sr., was town mayor, vice-governor, congressman and assemblyman of Pangasinan.