DPWH chief Villar ‘not corrupt,’ but it’s not because he‘s rich – Lacson | Inquirer News
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DPWH chief Villar ‘not corrupt,’ but it’s not because he‘s rich – Lacson

/ 05:49 AM November 19, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — Sen. Panfilo Lacson has yet to find proof that Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Secretary Mark Villar has “dipped his fingers” in alleged corrupt activities within the agency.

“As I speak, we haven’t heard even from the rumor mill that Secretary Villar has dipped his fingers into any of the shenanigans that some sectors say are almost of public knowledge in the agency,” Lacson said during the Senate plenary debates on the proposed 2021 budget of the DPWH early on Thursday.

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“I would like to state for the record that I agree with President [Rodrigo] Duterte — albeit not completely — that Secretary Villar is not corrupt. Not because he is rich but because he is not corrupt. Period,” he added.

Lacson has been flagging billions worth of supposedly questionable fund allocations under the proposed budget of the DPWH.

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But in opening his interpellation, the senator clarified that he and his staff had not even the “lightest intent of casting doubt on the integrity of Secretary Villar and any of his undersecretaries” when they were scrutinizing the agency’s budget and raising issues concerning it.

“In fact, if we found any proof or evidence that the secretary and any officials have gotten involved directly or indirectly with any corrupt activities in the department, I would not hesitate to say so even in their faces,” Lacson said.

Duterte himself previously bared the alleged corruption in the DPWH, saying that no infrastructure project would start without any under-the-table deals.

He repeated his corruption claims in another recorded speech but cleared Villar of wrongdoing as he argued that the Secretary is already rich and does not need to pocket government funds.

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TAGS: DPWH corruption, Mark Villar, Panfilo Lacson
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