Villar was never a Tondo poor boy

Villar was never a Tondo poor boy
Philippine Daily Inquirer

THE MARCH 7 ARTICLE ON Manny Villar’s house along Moriones Street in Tondo confirmed the belief that he was never poor, never spent his Christmas on the street and never swam in a pool of garbage. In the early 1960s, if you had a three-story house in a 60-square-meter lot in the business district of Tondo, you were considered an aristocrat.

Not too far from that Moriones house were shanties leading to the pier where children went to the nearby public schools for education. Such was not the case of Villar: he went to Holy Child Catholic School for his elementary education and to Mapua for high school. Coming from Moriones going to Mapua, Villar had to pass by three outstanding public high schools: Jose Abad Santos High School, Arellano High School and Teodora Agoncillo High School, and public schools in the latter part of the 1950s and 1960s were at their best.

But not for the Villar children. Because their father was a white-collar employee and they had a businesswoman for a mother, Manny and his siblings were able to study in the best private schools nearby. They had corned beef for breakfast (as told in Villar’s ad with Boy Abunda) and I am pretty sure suahe and other seafoods for lunch or dinner.

During the times that Villar claimed he was poor, his family actually belonged to the AB and upper C economic strata or the top 10 percent of the population. As in the C-5 controversy, in the conversion of agricultural land in Iloilo, in the landgrabbing of the Dumagats’ land in Norzagaray and his questionable use of socialized housing funds among many others, Villar shows a penchant for covering the truth.

I hope television’s investigative journalists can dig deeper into this so the poor people who are being used will find out the truth.

—ELEN FRANCISCO,

[email protected]

Karen Ang

A plebeian who is trying to make small changes in this world.