Cynthia Villar

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Cynthia Villar
Cynthia Villar.jpg
Senator of the Philippines
Assumed office
June 30, 2013
Chair of the Philippine Senate
Agriculture and Food; Agrarian Reform; Environment and Natural Resources Committee
Assumed office
July 22, 2019
Chair of the Philippine Senate
Agrarian Reform Committee
In office
May 31, 2017 – July 30, 2019
Preceded byAlan Peter Cayetano
Chair of the Philippine Senate
Agriculture and Food Committee
In office
February 27, 2017 – May 31, 2017
Preceded byFrancis Pangilinan
In office
July 22, 2013 – July 25, 2016
Preceded byFrancis Pangilinan
Succeeded byFrancis Pangilinan
Chair of the Philippine Senate
Environment and
Natural Resources Committee
In office
July 25, 2016 – February 27, 2017
Preceded byLoren Legarda
Chair of the Philippine Senate
Government Corporations and
Public Enterprises Committee
In office
July 22, 2013 – July 25, 2016
Preceded byFranklin Drilon
Succeeded byRichard J. Gordon
Member of the Philippine House of Representatives from Las Piñas' Lone District
In office
June 30, 2001 – June 30, 2010
Preceded byManny Villar
Succeeded byMark Villar
Personal details
Born
Cynthia Ampaya Aguilar

(1950-07-29) July 29, 1950 (age 69)
Muntinlupa, Rizal, Philippines
NationalityFilipino
Political partyNacionalista (2016–present)
Other political
affiliations
Team PNoy (2012–2016)
Spouse(s)
Manny Villar (m. 1975)
ChildrenManuel Paolo Villar III
Mark Villar
Camille Linda Villar
ResidenceLas Piñas, Metro Manila
Alma materUniversity of the Philippines Diliman
New York University
OccupationBusinesswoman and Politician
ProfessionBusinesswoman
Net worthP3.6 billion (2017)[1]

Cynthia Aguilar Villar (born Cynthia Ampaya Aguilar, July 29, 1950) is a Filipino politician currently serving as a Senator of the Philippines. She was a member of the House of Representatives for the Lone District of Las Piñas from 2001–2010 before winning a seat in the Senate in 2013, placing tenth. Villar topped the Senate race with 25 million votes, the most votes in election history, and was re-elected for a second term in the Senate on the 2019 elections.

Personal life[edit]

Villar was born on July 29, 1950 in the then-municipality of Muntinlupa to Filemon Aguilar, a long-time mayor of Las Piñas and congressman, and Lydia Ampaya.

She spent her elementary years at the Muntinlupa Elementary School, where she graduated in 1962. In 1966, she graduated high school from the Philippine Christian University. She then obtained a degree in Bachelor of Science in Business Administration at the University of the Philippines Diliman (UP Diliman) in 1970. It is where in UP she met her future husband, Senator Manny Villar. Two years later, in 1972, she obtained a master's degree in Business Administration at the New York University.

She practiced as a financial analyst at the Philippine Shares Corporation and a professor at the Far Eastern University before marrying Villar in 1975. After her marriage, she help her husband in managing his business ventures and became the director and vice president of the Household Finance Corporation. She later managed the Capitol Development Bank, where she served as its treasurer from 1989 to 1990 and its president from 1990 to 1998.

In 1992, she founded the Villar Foundation, where she is currently its managing director.

When Manny Villar became Speaker of the House of Representatives in 1998, she became the chairwoman of the Congressional Spouses Foundation, serving until 2000.

She has a sister named Vergel Aguilar, who is the former mayor of Las Piñas.

Political career[edit]

In 2001, Villar ran as Representative of the Lone District of Las Piñas and won in a landslide victory. She served in that post until 2010.

When her husband became the Senate President in 2006, she became the president of the Senate Spouses Foundation, Inc., serving until December 2008.

Plunder charges were filed in 2008 against Villar, then a representative, and her husband, then-senator Manny Villar.[2][3] The plunder complaint relates to an alleged fraudulent deal in 1998 with the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas.[4][5] She and her husband were cleared of the charges by the Office of the Ombudsman in 2010.[2][4]

In a senatorial forum on GMA News TV on February 23, 2013, economist Solita Monsod asked Villar to explain why, as chairman of the House Committee on High Education, she opposed the move to close nursing schools that the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) said did not meet minimum requirements to continue operations.

She explained that she favored the students who wanted to continue their schooling. CHED, she said, wanted to close the nursing schools because they didn't have the required tertiary hospitals where the nurses would eventually be trained before they graduate and get their BS Nursing degrees.

This part of Villar's response became controversial: "Actually, hindi naman kailangan ng nurse na matapos ang BSN (BS Nursing). Kasi itong mga nurses, gusto lang nilang maging room nurse, o sa Amerika o sa other countries, ay mag-aalaga lang sila. Hindi naman kailangan na ganoon sila kagaling. (Nurses don't actually need to finish BS Nursing. These nurses only want to become a room nurse or caregivers in America or in other countries. They don't need to be that good.),” Villar said in response.

Villar apologized on March 4, 2013 to Filipino nurses who were hurt by her recent statement on the nursing profession.

Taos-puso po akong humihingi ng paumanhin sa lahat ng mga nurse at kani-kanilang pamilya na labis na nasaktan sa aking kasagutan sa tanong na ibinato sa akin sa isang programa sa TV (I sincerely apologize to all the nurses and their families who were hurt by my response to the question I was asked on TV),” she posted on her Twitter account[6]

In 2013, Villar ran as senator under the ticket of his husband's rival in the 2010 presidential elections, President Benigno Aquino III and won, finishing in 10th place. Villar won in 2013 senatorial elections, placing tenth.[7]

In July 10, 2014, Villar criticized the arrest of senators Bong Revilla, Juan Ponce Enrile, and Jinggoy Estrada after the three were linked as the masterminds to the Priority Development Assistance Fund scam or Pork Barrel scandal.[8]

In May 19, 2015, Villar was the richest senator in the Philippines with a 2014 net worth of P1,983,480,135.[9] In May 17, 2016, Villar's wealth increased by 76% according to government data.[10]

In August 2016, Villar's son, Mark Villar, was appointed by newly-elected president Rodrigo Duterte as the public works and highways secretary.[11] In October 2016, Villar backed President Duterte's Philippine Drug War,[12] which has killed at least 20,000 Filipinos.[13] In November 2016, Villar voted against a resolution which sought to reject the Duterte-initiated burial of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos in the Heroes' Cemetery.[14]

In February 2017, Villar voted in favor of the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion Act,[14] which increased the inflation rate and cost of goods in the country.[15] Villar afterwards blamed "traders" for the negative effects of the law that she supported.[14] On the same month, after President Rodrigo Duterte announced his intention to withdraw a treaty with the United States,[16] Villar followed suit by not supporting the resolution requiring Senate concurrence on treaty withdrawals.[14] On June 14, 2017, Villar urged the government to impose a ban in 'unli-rice'.[17] On December 13, 2017, Villar was unable to vote for the martial law extension in Mindanao, but senator Vicente Sotto III noted that she “would have voted yes.”[14]

On March 6, 2018, Villar stated that she has 'no conflict of interest' in Boracay, where her company operates.[18] In June 2018, Villar rejected the possibility of same sex marriage in the Philippines.[19] In May 16, 2018, a local executive revealed that Villar's property firm was behind the levelling and destruction of mountains in Boracay.[20] On May 17, 2018, Villar did not support the resolution against the ouster of Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno via a quo warranto petition.[14] In October, she filed her certificate of candidacy for re-election in the 2019 senate elections. On July 23, 2018, Villar announced that she "admired" President Rodrigo Duterte.[21] On November 26, 2018, Villar supported a "60–40 profit sharing with China."[22]

In January 2019, President Rodrigo Duterte backed Villar's re-election candidacy.[23]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Ager, Maila (May 17, 2018). "Cynthia Villar remains richest senator". Philippine Daily Inquirer. Archived from the original on May 17, 2018. Retrieved May 29, 2018.
  2. ^ a b Gavilan, Jodesz (May 22, 2019). "Ghosts of an anomalous past: Cases, controversies hounding new senators". Rappler. Retrieved August 16, 2019.
  3. ^ "Plunder complaint filed vs Manny, Cynthia Villar". ABS-CBN News. September 29, 2008. Retrieved August 16, 2019.
  4. ^ a b Gavilan, Jodesz (October 18, 2018). "LIST: 2019 Senate hopefuls facing cases, complaints, probes". Rappler. Retrieved August 16, 2019.
  5. ^ Legaspi, Amita (August 12, 2009). "Jamby: Villar reaped windfalls in 'grandfather of Legacy scam'". GMA News Online. Retrieved August 16, 2019.
  6. ^ "Cynthia Villar apologizes to nurses". Retrieved February 17, 2017.
  7. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on February 7, 2019. Retrieved February 6, 2019.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  8. ^ "Cynthia Villar: Arrest of 3 senators pulling down Senate". Philstar.com. July 10, 2014. Retrieved October 14, 2019.
  9. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on February 7, 2019. Retrieved February 6, 2019.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  10. ^ "Cynthia Villar's wealth increases by 76 percent, 15 senators richer in 2015 | News | GMA News Online". Gmanetwork.com. Retrieved October 14, 2019.
  11. ^ at (August 2, 2016). "Mark Villar resigns from House of Representatives | ABS-CBN News". News.abs-cbn.com. Retrieved October 14, 2019.
  12. ^ "Senators support Duterte's call to destroy 10,000 narcotics networks | Inquirer News". Retrieved October 14, 2019.
  13. ^ Ted Regencia (February 21, 2018). "Senator: Rodrigo Duterte's drug war has killed 20,000 | News". Al Jazeera. Retrieved October 14, 2019.
  14. ^ a b c d e f "Archived copy". Archived from the original on February 7, 2019. Retrieved February 6, 2019.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  15. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on February 7, 2019. Retrieved February 6, 2019.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  16. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on February 7, 2019. Retrieved February 6, 2019.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  17. ^ "Villar urges ban on 'unli-rice' | ABS-CBN News". News.abs-cbn.com. June 14, 2017. Retrieved October 14, 2019.
  18. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on February 7, 2019. Retrieved February 6, 2019.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  19. ^ "Senators frown on same-sex marriage » Manila Bulletin News". News.mb.com.ph. Retrieved October 14, 2019.
  20. ^ "Malay official: Villar property firm is behind levelling of Boracay mountain". Cnnphilippines.com. Retrieved October 14, 2019.
  21. ^ "Villar admires Duterte as non-corrupt leader » Manila Bulletin News". News.mb.com.ph. Retrieved October 14, 2019.
  22. ^ "Villar: 60-40 profit sharing with China favors PH | Global News". Globalnation.inquirer.net. November 27, 2018. Retrieved October 14, 2019.
  23. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on February 7, 2019. Retrieved February 6, 2019.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)

External links[edit]

House of Representatives of the Philippines
Preceded by
Manny Villar
Member of the Philippine House of Representatives from Las Piñas' Lone District
2001–2010
Succeeded by
Mark Villar
Senate of the Philippines
Preceded by
Franklin Drilon
Chair of the Philippine Senate
Government Corporations and
Public Enterprises Committee

2013–2016
Succeeded by
Richard J. Gordon
Preceded by
Francis Pangilinan
Chair of the Philippine Senate
Agriculture and Food Committee

2013–2016
Succeeded by
Francis Pangilinan
Preceded by
Loren Legarda
Chair of the Philippine Senate
Environment and
Natural Resources Committee

2016–present
Incumbent
Preceded by
Francis Pangilinan
Chair of the Philippine Senate
Agriculture and Food Committee

2017–present
Incumbent
Preceded by
Alan Peter Cayetano
Chair of the Philippine Senate
Agrarian Reform Committee

2017–present
Incumbent