Palace: Aquino still trusts Tesda chief

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Monday, June 16, 2014

TECHNICAL Education Skills Development Authority (Tesda) Director General Joel Villanueva still enjoys the trust and confidence of President Benigno Aquino III amid his reported inclusion on the third batch of personalities who will be charged before the Office of the Ombudsman in relation to the pork barrel scam, a Palace official said Monday.

Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. also said that it would be speculative for him to answer question if there would be a need for Villanueva to resign if Aquino would have doubt on him.

"It would be inappropriate to comment at this time as this would be purely speculative," he said as he stressed the need to wait first for the action of the Department of Justice (DOJ) as to those who could be part of the third batch of individuals who would be charged with technical malversation.

"'Yung hinggil sa mga naiulat na ulat na pagsasampa ng kaso, mas mainam na hintayin natin ang gagawing hakbang o opisyal na pahayag ng DOJ tungkol sa kanilang pagsisisyasat ng mga usapin hinggil sa PDAF (Priority Development Assistance Fund)," he said.

Reports said that Villanueva was the only ally of the President and was among those to be charged by the DOJ in connection with the PDAF anomaly.

The Tesda chief reportedly said that he would resign from his post if Aquino would have doubts on him.

Asked if the President continues to trust Villanueva, Coloma said "Yes.,"

Villanueva has denied any involvement in the pork barrel scam allegedly masterminded by Janet Lim-Napoles, who is now facing plunder case before the Sandiganbayan, along with other individuals, such as Senators Juan Ponce Enrile, Jinggoy Estrada and Ramon Revilla Jr. (SDR/Sunnex)

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