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Public Works Secretary Mark Villar is reportedly planning on leaving the Cabinet soon to focus on his possible bid for vice president or senator in the 2022 elections, Special Envoy to China Mon Tulfo said.

Citing sources from the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), Tulfo said in his November 19 column for the Manila Times that Villar will use President Rodrigo Duterte’s tirade against corruption in the agency to his advantage.

“Villar, the sources said, would make the public scolding of the DPWH by the President as a reason for quitting,” Tulfo said.

“He has long wanted to resign; he was waiting for the right time,” the columnist added, quoting one of his sources.

In a speech aired October 27, Duterte mentioned DPWH as one of the government agencies where corruption is rampant. He, however, cleared Villar of wrongdoing.

“Let me state here and now that I have nothing against Secretary Villar. He is one of the hardworking at maraming accomplishments si Secretary Villar. But you know accomplishments alone to me should not suffice para na sa akin, hindi na kay Secretary Villar, because it’s not his job to be running after crooks,” he said.

“But it behooves upon me to see to it na itong corruption mahinto kung hindi ma — at least maputol na nang kaunti. So we are expanding the investigation sa corruption sa agriculture with special focus sa DPWH,” Duterte added.

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