Singson to Villar: Don’t be selective in road repair

Jess Diaz - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - Outgoing Public Works Secretary Rogelio Singson advised his successor, Las Piñas Rep. Mark Villar, not to be selective in repairing or building roads.

“If it is a national road, he has to do it, regardless of whoever benefits from it, whether it is Vista Land, Ayala or another property developer. He should not be selective to avoid being accused of conflict of interest,” Singson told ANC.

“If he builds a road going to a remote Vista Land development, then conflict of interest comes in,” he said.

Vista Land is the real estate development flagship of the Villar family. It has a lot of projects in Metro Manila and the provinces.

Rep. Villar has received flak due to possible conflict of interest after he accepted incoming president Rodrigo Duterte’s offer for him to succeed Singson.

The Villars supported Duterte. In Las Piñas City, their bailiwick, the Davao mayor received 104,387 votes, followed by Sen. Grace Poe with 52,983 votes, administration standard-bearer Manuel Roxas II with 28,923 and Vice President Jejomar Binay with 17,654.

The Villars also reportedly contributed to Duterte’s election campaign.

During the 2010 election campaign, former senator Manuel Villar Jr., who was then aspiring for the presidency, was accused of conflict of interest for allocating taxpayers’ money for a road that traversed his properties in Muntinlupa and Las Piñas.

Singson said his policy is “if this is a national road, regardless of whoever is the politician there, whoever businessman benefits from it, I have to do it for the benefit of everybody.”

He said he would help his successor “settle in.”

“He doesn’t have to bring his own people. We have a lot of competent, professional and career personnel. When I took over six years ago, I did not bring a single staff from outside,” he said.

He added Rep. Villar has a lot of projects that he can immediately undertake and for which preparatory design and engineering work have already been done.

Singson pointed out that these include flyovers in Katipunan, Quezon City and the intersections of EDSA-Roxas Boulevard in Pasay City, Governor Forbes and España in Manila, Roosevelt and Quezon Avenue, and North Avenue and West Avenue.

Singson said he failed to do these projects primarily because of objections from local government units and the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority, since undertaking them even one at a time would worsen traffic congestion.






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