MANILA – Senator Christopher "Bong" Go said resigned Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol's expertise is needed in Mindanao.
Speaking to reporters on Sunday, Go said President Rodrigo Duterte has yet to accept Piñol's resignation but he plans to transfer Piñol to Mindanao because he knows the terrain in the region.
"Sa ngayon naman po, hindi pa tinatanggap ni Pangulong Duterte formally yung kaniyang resignation, subalit hintayin na lang natin sa mga susunod na araw. At narinig ko lang po na siguro, kailangan rin niya si Sec. Pinol doon sa Mindanao, lalong-lalo na po para tutukan itong BARMM, since kabisado po ni Sec. Pinol yung terrain sa Mindanao, yung in terms of agricuture, pati yung kultura ng mga tao doon sa Mindanao, kilalang-kilala na niya po," he said.
(President Duterte has yet to accept his resignation, but let's just wait. What I've heard, he needs Sec. Piñol in Mindanao, especially in BARMM, since Sec. Piñol knows the terrain in Mindanao, in terms of agriculture. He also knows a lot about the culture of the people in Mindanao.)
Go said the President is very particular with the issue of food security, and may have high expectations of the Department of Agriculture, especially in the last three years of his term.
"Para sa 'kin, satisfactory naman po yung kung kaniyang naging performance, subalit siguro mas mataas ang ekspektasyon ni Pangulong Duterte lalong lalo na po in the next 3 years. Kung agriculture po ang pinag-uusapan, nakasalalay po dito lalong lalo na ang ating food security sa agriculture. Very sensitive po si Pangulong Duterte kung pag-uusapan po ay food security," he said.
(For me, his performance is satisfactory, but President Duterte may have higher expectations, especially in the next three years. In terms of agriculture, our food security depends on agriculture. President Duterte is very sensitive with the topic of food security.)
On Thursday, Go said Piñol had submitted his courtesy resignation to Duterte.
Piñol’s offer to resign came amid reports that Duterte was set to transfer him to the Mindanao Development Authority (MINDA) as he was not satisfied with the official’s performance in the Department of Agriculture.
Duterte has said he told Piñol to head the MINDA, another Cabinet position.
Duterte earlier told the Bangsamoro Transition Authority to speed up its work, as he appeared unsatisfied with the pace setting up the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM)
Asked whether this means the President is accepting the courtesy resignation of Pinol, Duterte replied that he has to talk to BARMM chief interim minister Al Haj Murad to make sure that Piñol is acceptable to them.
Duterte added that he had no problems with Piñol as agriculture secretary, contrary to speculation.