MANILA -- Malacañang on Saturday said President Benigno Aquino III has accepted the resignation of Local Water Utilities Administration (LWUA) chair Rene Villa, who has been linked to the multi-billion pork barrel scam.
Villa, a member of the Liberal Party, earlier admitted that he used to lawyer for businesswoman Janet Lim Napoles from 2006 to 2010.
He said Napoles became his client a year after he stepped down as secretary of the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR).
He admitted receiving cash and a vehicle from Napoles, but insisted that these were payments for his services as lawyer for Napoles' JLN Corp.
Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Sonny Coloma was mum when asked if Villa's resignation was connected to his controversial relationship with Napoles, the alleged mastermind of the pork barrel scam.
"Personal na desisyon po niya ito at tinanggap naman po ito ng ating Pangulo na may kalakip na pasasalamat sa kanyang paglilingkod," Coloma said in an interview with radio DZRB.
He said Villa's resignation was effective last November 30, according to Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa.
He said Aquino will likely wait for the recommendation of Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Secretary Rogelio Singson on who will replace Villa, noting that the LWUA is under the DPWH.
Meanwhile, Coloma said the President has also accepted the resignation of Grace Karen Singson as chief privatization officer of the Privatization and Management Office (PMO).