Mark Villar resigns from Congress to become DPWH chief

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – Mark Villar resigned as Las Piñas representative to take on his responsibilities as the new Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) secretary.

Villar toak his oath as DPWH chief  before President Rodrigo Duterte in Malacañang on Monday afternoon, August 1.  

"Yes," said House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez in a text message on Tuesday morning, August 2, when asked to confirm reports that Villar has resigned and that Alvarez will designate Villar's wife, DIWA Representative Em Aglipay-Villar, as caretaker of the vacated Las Piñas district.

House Majority Leader Rodolfo Fariñas told the media on Monday: "According to the Speaker, Rep Mark Villar has resigned and that the Speaker will designate Rep Em Aglipay-Villar as caretaker of the district vacated."

The lawmaker turned Cabinet secretary was already elected as congressman when Duterte offered him a Cabinet position, which Villar "humbly" accepted on May 17. (READ: DPWH post: Can Mark Villar rise above business interests?)

He was only able to take his oath as DPWH secretary on Monday, however, because Article 234 of the Revised Penal Code penalizes an elected official who "shall refuse without legal motive to be sworn in or to discharge the duties of said office." 

Villar is the son of real estate magnate and former senator Manuel "Manny" Villar and incumbent senator Cynthia Villar.

The Villar family owns the Philippines' biggest homebuilder Vista Land and shopping-center developer Starmalls Incorporated. –

Mara Cepeda

Mara Cepeda writes about politics and women’s rights for Rappler. She covers the Senate and the Office of the Vice President. Got tips? Send her an email at or shoot her a tweet @maracepeda.