Office of Mark Villar’s wife reviewed contracts with Maynilad, Manila Water – Guevarra admits

Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra on Thursday admitted that the office of Justice Undersecretary Emmeline Aglipay Villar, who heads the Department of Justice’s Legal Services and Liaison Cluster, reviewed the water agreements with concessionaires Maynilad and Manila Water.

Guevarra stressed that it was only “coincidental” when the review of the concession agreement landed unexpectedly in the DOJ legal services.

Emmeline is the wife of Public Works Secretary Mark Villar and daughter-in-law of Senator Cynthia Villar and her husband, bilyonaryo Manny Villar.

The Villars own Prime Water Infrastructure Corp., which has been taking over local water districts nationwide through joint venture agreements.

Reports have it that the Villars are already making headway in their rumored takeover of Manila Water Company, Inc. and Maynilad Water Services, Inc.

“Syempre as SOJ (Secretary of Justice) ako ang head ng review team at ginagamit ko dyan, nag assist ng review naturally legal staff ng DOJ… So yun units na yun nagkataon lang under the supervision ni Usec Emmeline Villar kasi may mga distribution ng work mga usecs ng DOJ. So nagkataon lang, di sinadya yun na kay Usec Emmeline bigay na baka may vested interest. Certainly not. Of course not,” Guevarra said.

He added that the undersecretary’s hand in the review of the controversial concession agreement was irrelevant, saying every lawyer worth his salt would find it inequitable and disadvantageous.

” This is what I can say. Kahit sino lawyer mag review ng contracts nayan, pareho din makikita. It does not really matter, it does not really matter kung si Usec Villar ba na involved because any lawyer will see mga provisions na yan that we believed are onerous,” Guevarra said.

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