Villanueva says he's uncomfortable running with De Lima | Inquirer News

Villanueva says he’s uncomfortable running with De Lima

/ 04:34 PM October 01, 2015

TECHNICAL Education and Skills Development Authority (Tesda) Secretary Joel Villanueva on Thursday admitted that it would be uncomfortable running with Justice Secretary Leila De Lima, who sued him for malversation over the alleged pork barrel scam.

In an interview on the sidelines of the budget plenary debates in the House of Representatives, Villanueva said he is thankful that President Aquino still considers him as a senatorial candidate under the Liberal Party (LP).

“Una, nakakataba ng puso, nakaka-humble na ang suporta ni PNoy, tuluy-tuloy pa rin, nararamdaman at nararanasan natin. It is what it is. I don’t want to preempt any announcement that will happen in next couple of days. Grateful, honored and blessed ako sa suporta ng Pangulo,” Villanueva said.


He admitted that he would feel uneasy running with De Lima, who approved the filing of malversation and graft charges against him for his alleged involvement in the pork barrel scam.


De Lima is said to be included in the LP senatorial line-up, along with Senate President Franklin Drilon and Senators Ralph Recto and Teofisto Guingona III, former Sen. Francis Pangilinan, Tesda chief Villanueva, Metropolitan Manila Development Authority Chair Francis Tolentino and former Energy Secretary Jericho Petilla.

“I will be a hypocrite to say I’ll be comfortable. But at the end of the day, alam natin ang calling natin, ano yung nais gawin,   nais ma-accomplish being Tesda chief and a public servant,” Villanueva said.

He said he is open to being adopted as a guest candidate of different parties.

Villanueva’s Citizens’ Battle Against Crime and Corruption (Cibac) is allied with different political parties, including the LP.

Villanueva himself attended the meeting with the Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC), where Senators Grace Poe and Francis “Chiz” Escudero, presidential and vice presidential bets, were invited, fueling speculations that Villanueva has joined Poe’s camp.

“Of course, we welcome the idea na tayo ay i-adopt kahit sino o kahit anong partido,” Villanueva said.


Villanueva is included in the third batch of pork barrel scam case. He, along with  Senator Gregorio “Gringo” Honasan III, Cagayan de Oro Rep. Rufus Rodriguez, La Union (1st district) Rep. Victor Ortega, Manila (5th district) Rep. Amado Bagatsing, incumbent Abono Rep. and former Pangasinan Rep. Conrado Estrella III, former Abono Rep. Robert Raymund Estrella, former La Union Rep. Manuel Ortega and former Zamboanga Rep. Isidoro Real Jr., is facing charges of malversation, bribery and graft.

Villanueva is accused of receiving P2.33 million in kickbacks in dealing with the alleged bogus foundations of Janet Lim-Napoles which purportedly implemented ghost projects for kickbacks.

Villanueva is the son of Jesus is Lord founder Bro. Eddie Villanueva.

Villanueva was appointed Tesda Director General with a Cabinet rank by President Aquino. He served as Cibac Representative from the 2001 to 2010.

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TAGS: Emmanuel Joel Villanueva, Leila de Lima, Nation, News

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