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‘Piñol not corrupt, just talkative’

Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol said Friday he will continue to do his duties in the department as President Rodrigo Duterte has yet to finalize his reassignment to the Mindanao Development Authority.

In a statement early Friday, Piñol, who submitted his courtesy resignation Thursday night, said he will soldier on despite his alleged poor performance during the evaluation and assessment of Cabinet members.

“I am a soldier of the President and I believe that a warrior does not choose the battlefields or the battle. It is not the size of the battlefield or the odds that matters but it is how you fight to win the battle,” Piñol wrote in his Facebook account.

“Until such time, the President decides on where to field me to wage another battle. I will continue my advocacies and work in the Department of Agriculture.”

Speaking to reporters, Duterte said he was satisfied with the performance of the Agriculture department amid the controversies surrounding it.

“Yes, [I’m happy with his performance],” said Duterte. “Corruption, none. It’s not corruption. He’s just talkative.”

Duterte said he was considering Piñol as the new head of MinDA, replacing the late Datu Abul Khayr Dangcal Alonto who died last month.

But he has to discuss Piñol’s reassignment with Moro Islamic Liberation Front chief Al Hajj Ebrahim Murad and other Bangsamoro officials.

“I cannot see anybody on the horizon except Piñol, who grew up in Mindanao. He’s a farmer and [a former] governor. That MinDA position is a Cabinet position,” Duterte said.

“I told him to go there and help me. Get them started, hurry up, hurry them up, so that they will have a first regular organized government that they have long wished for... The problem is I have yet to see Murad and all officials of the BARMM (Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.”

In his resignation letter, Piñol requested to have a one-month transition period for an “orderly turnover of all projects and programs” to his successor. He also said he would be ready to assume a new post by the start of August this year.

He then recommended three undersecretaries of his department such as Waldo Carpio, Ariel Cayanan and Francisco Villano.

“To my friends in the media, President Rody Duterte has described me as ‘just talkative,’ so there will be less audio coming from my side from now on,” Piñol said.

“Also, to those who would like to set interviews with me to discuss my offer to resign, I am sorry, but I will not give any statement on the matter.”

READ: Agriculture head offers to resign

READ: Cabinet purge in the offing

READ: PACC clears DA chief Piñol of corruption allegations

Topics: Emmanuel Piñol , Rodrigo Duterte , Mindanao Development Authority , Department of Agriculture
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