By Genalyn Kabiling
Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol has offered to be relieved from his post and assigned to another government post such as the Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA), Senator-elect Christopher Go said Thursday.
Go announced that Piñol was willing to relinquish his post in a letter to President Duterte ahead of his oath-taking in Malacañang Thursday night.
“With the best interest of the Department of Agriculture (DA) and its stakeholders in mind, may I request that I be relieved from my present position as Secretary of Agriculture and reassigned to whichever agency you believe I would be effective, including the Mindanao Development Authority,” Piñol said in a statement sent to the President and Go.
“I am a loyal friend and supporter and I will always make sure that I will be able to contribute to the implementation of your priority programs in the last three years,” Piñol said in his letter.
Go, who read Piñol’s statement to the media, said the President has yet to decide on the fate of Piñol.
He said Piñol felt the President might no longer trust him at the DA after some Cabinet members reportedly blamed him for the rice supply problems in the country last year. “Sa tingin niya wala na pong tiwala si Pangulong Duterte sa kanya (He believes the President no longer trust him). He is willing to give up the position,” he said.
Asked if Piñol’s letter was a courtesy resignation, Go said: “Parang ganun.”
To ensure continuity of the DA programs, Go said Piñol has recommended that his successor be chosen from three DA undersecretaries, namely Waldo Carpio, Ariel Cayanan and Francisco Villano.
Piñol asked the President to implement a transition period of one month to ensure the orderly turnover of all DA projects.
“I will be ready to assume a new post by August 1 of this year,” he said.