Ex-Albay district engr gets new post in Cebu

By Manuel T. Ugalde


CONTROVERSIAL former Albay 2nd District Engineer Danilo Villa, who was relieved from his post and placed on a floating status by Department of Public Works (DPWH) and Highways Sec. Mark Villar on Jan. 6 this year reportedly has been reinstated and designated as district engineer of the newly created Cebu 7th District Engineering Office (DEO).


A DPWH official who requested anonymity said Villa’s reinstatement as district engineer is a clear vindication of the graft and corruption charges hurled against him.


Villa, in a text message, confirmed to this reporter that Sec. Villar designated him on April 26, 2021 as district engineer of Cebu 7th DEO.


To recall, Villa during his stint as Albay district engineer was allegedly addicted to cockfighting and he was accused of owning a P50-million residential house at Barangay Bogtong, Legazpi City, some 300 meters from the city’s airport.


Albay 2nd District Rep. Joey Sarte Salceda described Villa as a highly competent official to whom he entrusted implementation of the billions of funds poured for his district during the past four years.


Villa’s four years stint in Albay was marred with serious allegations of graft and corruption as people questioned the sources of his gambling money in high stake cockfight derbies at the Legazpi Cockpit Center where he was pictured participating. Another photo showed him in a table with then Albay Vice Governor Harold Imperial at a cockpit in Daraga town.


A source said that Villa and Salceda’s close association was tainted with allegations that millions worth of projects were implemented by Villa without the knowledge of the latter.


Salvador Flor, president of the Bicol Reporters Association lamented the glaring presence of government officials in cockfighting arenas, prominent among them are public works officials.


Flor said there is an existing directive from President Duterte prohibiting government officials and employees in any gambling casinos and cockpits.


Flor said the controversy surrounding Villa’s relief as district engineer of the Albay 2nd DEO was connected to his alleged P50 million residential house.


Villa for his part denied all the allegations linking him to graft and corrupt practices during his four years stint in Albay.