Duterte may transfer Pinol to MinDA
President Rodrigo Duterte is eyeing to transfer Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Pinol to the Mindanao Development Authority ( MinDA).
This was after Pinol offered his resignation as Department of Agriculture chief.
"With the best interest of the Department of Agriculture and its stakeholders, may I request that I be relieved from my present position as Secretary of Agriculture and reassigned to whichever agency you believe I will be effective, including the Mindanao Development Authority or MinDA," said Piñol in a letter sent on Thursday to Duterte.
A copy of the letter was read by incoming Senator Christopher "Bong" Go in a media interview prior to his oath-taking as a new senator Thursday night.
In an interview after the oath-taking ceremony, Duterte said he has not accepted Pinol's resignation as DA chief.
He has also yet to decide if he would transfer Pinol to MinDA because he would consult first with Bangsamoro government interim chief minister Al Haj Murad Ebrahim.
"I have yet to see Murad and all officials of the BARMM (Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao)," he said.
If he would appoint Pinol to MinDA, Duterte said he wants the DA chief to be the national government's point person with BARMM.
"I'm not saying that they (Bangsamoro) do not know how to govern, as a matter of fact they are experts. They are once upon a time politicians somehow involved in politics. The problem is, I called the attention of, I think it was during the, when was that, I said, move. (But) I do not see any movement there," he explained.
"Your place is rich both in natural resources and the people... There seems to be a disconnect between me and them," he said.
"I cannot see anybody in the horizon except Pinol who knows and grew up, born in Mindanao. He's a farmer and governor, and so I said I need a person to act as a rudder. That MinDA position is a cabinet position," Duterte said.
He clarified that he still trusts and has confidence with Pinol.
According to him, Pinol is not corrupt but just "talkative."
In his offer to quit as DA chief, Pinol suggested the department could be run in the meantime for the next 30 days by his three undersecretaries if he would be transferred to MinDA.
MinDA Chairman and Secretary Datu Abul Khayr Dangcal Alonto passed away last month. Celerina Monte/DMS