Renato de Villa

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Renato de Villa
Philippine Secretary of National Defense
In office
July 20, 1991 – September 15, 1997
President Corazon Aquino
Fidel Ramos
Preceded by Fidel Ramos
Succeeded by Fortunato Abat
Chief of Staff, Armed Forces of the Philippines
In office
President Corazon Aquino
Fidel Ramos
Preceded by Fidel V. Ramos
Succeeded by Rodolfo Biazon
Executive Secretary
In office
January 20, 2001 – 2002
President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo
Preceded by Edgardo Angara
Personal details
Born (1935-07-20) July 20, 1935 (age 81)
San Juan, Batangas, Philippine Islands
Political party Partido ng Demokratikong Reporma–Lapiang Manggagawa
Spouse(s) Monica Barrica

Renato "Rene" de Villa (born July 20, 1935) is a political figure in the Philippines and founder of the rightist political party Partido ng Demokratikong Reporma–Lapiang Manggagawa.

Early life and education[edit]

Renato de Villa was born on July 20, 1935 in San Juan, Batangas.[1] He completed his elementary education at San Juan Elementary School, and completed high school at Batangas Eastern Academy, also in San Juan.[1] He studied engineering for one year at the University of Santo Tomas in Manila before taking and passing the entrance exam for the Philippine Military Academy.[1]

De Villa has a master's degree in Business Management from the Asian Institute of Management.[1]


Armed Forces of the Philippines[edit]

De Villa served as Chief of Philippine Constabulary and Director-General of the Integrated National Police in 1986 and was concurrent Vice-Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines in 1987. In 1988, he was promoted to Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces by President Corazon Aquino. In 1989, he was one who defended President Corazon Aquino against coup plots in Manila by Gregorio Honasan's Reform the Armed Forces Movement (RAM) and the siege of an army camp by Rizal Alih in Zamboanga City.

Secretary of National Defense[edit]

In 1991, Fidel Ramos resigned as Defense secretary to run for president. Aquino appointed de Villa as his replacement. When Ramos won as President in 1992, he reappointed de Villa to the post.

1998 presidential election[edit]

In 1997, he resigned as Defense secretary and made his bid for the presidency. He joined Lakas-NUCD the same year to get Ramos' endorsement. De Villa was widely believed to be the preferred candidate of President Fidel V. Ramos, due to their long association in the Philippine Constabulary, shared experience in the EDSA Revolution, and appointment as Secretary of National Defense.[2] However, in December 1997, Ramos endorsed House Speaker Jose de Venecia, Jr., who became the official presidential candidate of the party.[2]

De Villa bolted the party and formed his own party called the Partido ng Demokratikong Reporma (Democratic Reform Party) and formed an alliance with the Lapiang Manggagawa (Labor Organization) as Reporma–LM. He chose Pangasinan Governor Oscar Orbos as his running mate and brought rebel members of Lakas to his party. Many criticized his actions, most of whom think that he basically cloned Ramos' career (Ramos done the same when he lost the nomination of the LDP). In the May 11 elections, he lost to Vice President Joseph Estrada and placed sixth overall in a field of 11 candidates.

Executive Secretary[edit]

De Villa reappeared in 2001 when the second EDSA People Power Revolution escalated and influenced active officers of the Armed Forces to withdraw support to President Joseph Estrada. When President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo assumed office, she appointed de Villa as her executive secretary. He resigned from the cabinet the succeeding year citing health conditions. In the 2004 elections, he formally withdrew alliance with Arroyo and endorsed Raul Roco as president. His party did not fill any candidates other than what was endorsed by Roco. Roco however lost to the incumbent Arroyo in the elections.

In July 2005, De Villa was speculated to be picked as transition president if in case the opposition successfully ousted President Arroyo and Vice President Noli de Castro from their positions and form a revolutionary government. Those plans did not happen when the Arroyo impeachment was dismissed in the House of Representatives.

Personal life[edit]

As a young captain on the armed forces in the 1960s, De Villa would spend his leisure time at the Fort Bonifacio quarters of Eduardo Ermita, his classmate at the Philippine Military Academy. Also staying there was Monica "Monet" Barrica of Dipolog City, a Philippine Airlines flight attendant and niece of Ermita's wife.[2] De Villa married Barrica in 1968, a month before shipping out to Vietnam.[2]

De Villa and Barrica had four children:[1]

  • Ma. Mercedes Josefina de Villa Colet
  • Patrick Roland B. de Villa
  • Katherine Johanna de Villa Maravilla
  • Michael Celestino B. de Villa

Barrica was diagnosed with stage III malignant cancer in 1990, and died in September 2006 after a 16-year struggle.[2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e "Renato S. De VIlla". Department of National Defense. Information Management Office, Department of National Defense. Retrieved November 20, 2014. 
  2. ^ a b c d e "Life without Monet". Philippine Daily Inquirer. April 2, 2007. Retrieved November 20, 2014. 

External links[edit]

Military offices
Preceded by
Fidel Ramos
Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines
Succeeded by
Rodolfo Biazon
Political offices
Preceded by
Fidel Ramos
Secretary of National Defense
Succeeded by
Fortunato Abat