Piñol reassignment not yet final — Palace
MANILA, Philippines — The reassignment of Agriculture Secretary Manny Piñol as presidential “point man” in the newly created Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) is not yet final as President Rodrigo Duterte is yet to talk to BARMM interim chief Murad Ebrahim.
Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo said this Tuesday after some Moro leaders raised doubts on Piñol, pointing out his role in the junking of the memorandum of agreement on ancestral domain (MOA-AD) in 2008.
MOA-AD is the planned homeland also referred to as the Bangsamoro Juridical Entity (BJE) which was a product of the peace agreement between the government and the separatist Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF). The deal did not materialize after it faced strong opposition.
Duterte earlier announced the reassignment of Piñol to help speed up the devolution of all national government agencies as he found the process too slow.
But according to Panelo, Piñol’s transfer is not yet finalized pending Duterte’s meeting with Murad.
“I suppose the President will always take any factor being introduced by concerned players in that region. Siyempre lahat iko-consider ni Presidente,” Panelo said in a Palace briefing.
“Anything is possible. Pwede din namang kausapin niya [Duterte] si Mr. Murad (to accept Piñol). Pwede din naman um-okay na siya na hindi nalang si Sec. Piñol. Tignan natin,” he added.
The Palace official also explained that the President is not blaming the Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA) for the “slow” development he earlier pointed out.
“Hindi naman sila bini-blame ni Presidente. Nababagalan siya doon sa galaw because nga of those Constraints. Sinasabi niya lang ‘yun kasi gusto niya mas mabilis,” Panelo said.
While the President did not specify Piñol’s new position, the Agriculture chief recently requested to be shipped to the Mindanao Development Authority, the lead agency in development efforts in Mindanao.
Piñol said the DA is already crafting a 10-year agriculture master plan for the BARMM which is expected to be completed before the end of August. (Editor: Julie Espinosa)
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