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DA secretary cleared from anomaly suspicions 

GOVERNANCE/POLITICS • 09:45 AM Thu Jun 13, 2019
2
By: 
John M. Unson
 Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol (center) in one of his recent public engagements. (John Unson)

KIDAPAWAN CITY --- The Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission has cleared Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol from suspicions of pocketing state funds.

“A humbling moment,” Piñol, said in a text message Thursday, referring to a June 11 PACC press communiqué stating he is cleared from allegations of mishandling money earmarked for high-ticket government programs.

The statement was signed by PACC Chairman Dante Jimenez, copies received by media outfits in central Mindanao early Thursday.

The PACC has passed an en banc resolution clearing Piñol from involvement in any anomaly as agriculture secretary.

Piñol voluntarily submitted himself for a PACC lifestyle check last year following reports insinuating that he profited from manipulated rice importation deals.

“The allegations were hurting. It affected my supporters, my staff and my family. This PACC resolution is justice for us all. It came about seven months after I submitted myself for a lifestyle check,” Piñol said.

Piñol had served as governor of North Cotabato for three consecutive terms.

“It was all rumors. It even reached President Rodrigo Duterte. While he did not confront me about it, I had it checked by a competent entity to clear me out,” he said.

Piñol said he got two “big blessings” in just four days this month.

“Besides the PACC clearance, I was conferred with a doctoral degree on rural development by the University of Southern Mindanao,” he said.

The conferment rite was held June 8 at the campus of the state-run university in Kabacan town in North Cotabato.

Piñol said he could use what he learned from USM’s graduate school to help improve the productivity of Filipino farming communities.

“I come from a poor peasant family. I know the ups and downs of farmers in the countryside,” he said. 

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