Duterte appoints Diwa Rep Em Aglipay Villar as DOJ undersecretary

Lian Buan
Duterte appoints Diwa Rep Em Aglipay Villar as DOJ undersecretary
Diwa Representative Emmeline Aglipay Villar, a lawyer, is the wife of Public Works Secretary Mark Villar

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte appointed Diwa Representative Emmeline Aglipay Villar as Department of Justice undersecretary, as DOJ Secretary Menardo Guevarra overhauls the department he took over 3 months ago.

Guevarra had recommended Villar, a lawyer, to Duterte.

The DOJ chief earlier ordered DOJ officials co-terminus with his predecessor Vitaliano Aguirre II to submit their courtesy resignations. Duterte appointed Villar after he accepted the courtesy resignations of some of Aguirre’s undersecretaries and assistant secretary, the DOJ said in a statement on Wednesday, July 11.

Villar is the wife of Public Works Secretary Mark Villar. She completed her economics degree at De La Salle University, graduating magna cum laude in 2002, before she pursued a law degree at the University of the Philippines. She was a Ten Outstanding Young Men (TOYM) awardee for public service in 2012, when she was on her first term as Diwa representative.

She is the youngest daughter of former Philippine National Police chief Edgar Aglipay.

Secretary Villar was also a member of the House of Representatives when Duterte tapped him for a Cabinet post. To this day, the Las Piñas congressional seat left vacant by the public works chief remains unoccupied.

With Villar’s appointment to the DOJ, the Diwa party will have to nominate to the Commission on Elections another member to fill her seat in the House where she was on her second term.

Other new appointments

Villar is among Guevarra’s 4 new hires.

Lawyers Adrian Sugay and Markk Perete were also appointed DOJ undersecretaries, while lawyer Neal Vincent Bainto was appointed assistant secretary.

They will replace former undersecretaries Raymond Mecate, Erickson Balmes, and Reynante Orceo; and former assistant secretary Juvy Manwong.

Sugay was with Guevarra at their old law firm, De Borja Medialdea Bello Guevarra and Serapio Law Offices. Sugay was also special assistant to the corporate head at the Philippine Ports Authority.

Prior to his appointment, Perete was assistant secretary for legal affairs at the Office of the President. Bainto, an Ateneo law graduate like Guevarra, was senior associate at a law firm before joining the DOJ.

Aside from Mecate, Balmes, Orceo and Manwong, Aguirre’s undersecretaries Antonio Kho and Deo Marco as well as assistant secretaries George Ortha II, Moslemen Macarambon Sr, Cheryl Daytec Yañgot, Sergio Yap II, and Margaret Padilla have also resigned.

When Duterte accepts their resignations, Guevarra will have two more undersecretaries and 5 more assistant secretaries. – Rappler.com

Lian Buan

Lian Buan covers justice and corruption for Rappler. She is interested in decisions, pleadings, audits, contracts, and other documents that establish a trail. If you have leads, email lian.buan@rappler.com or tweet @lianbuan.