Piñol offers to resign

Carlos Dominguez III

Senator-elect Christopher “Bong” Go confirmed on Thursday that Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol has offered to resign from his post and asked President Duterte to assign him to whichever government agency he could be more effective.

Go stated he received Piñol’s email addressed to the President earlier in the day.

“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,” Piñol’s emailed letter read.

The offer to resign arrived despite rumors that Duterte would be employing a Cabinet revamp and that Piñol might be replaced by William Dar. But Malacañang earlier dismissed such speculation and said the President still had full trust and confidence in the agriculture official.

Go noted Duterte had yet to act on Piñol’s resignation letter.

“The President is very sensitive on matters like this, especially [when] the legacy of his administration is at stake. And agriculture is very important to him,” the senator-elect said.

When asked if Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III was among those who had recommended Piñol’s removal, Go replied, “I cannot confirm, but it seems like that.”

Go added, “[Piñol] thinks the President has lost trust in him. He is willing to give up the position … He is willing to accept wherever the President assigns him.”

If Piñol is assigned to the MinDA, “[the President’s] trust is still there,” Go concluded.

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