MANILA - Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala has a theory on why he is being linked to the pork barrel scam of Janet Lim Napoles.
Speaking to [email protected], Alcala said his appointment to the Department of Agriculture in 2010 came out of nowhere especially since he is not a high-profile figure before the appointment.
Before joining the Aquino Cabinet, Alcala was a two-term congressman of the 2nd District of Quezon Province. He is a member of President Aquino's Liberal Party.
"Hindi ako sikat na tao. Ako po ay probinsiyano. Marami pong tao na humuhusga na hindi ko kaya patakbuhin ang kagawaran ng maayos," he said.
He again dismissed the accusation as a demolition job, saying he has accomplished much in the past three years.
He said that under his leadership, the Department of Agriculture has increased palay production from 82 percent to 96 percent. He said that while the department has yet to hit 100 percent rice self-sufficiency, the increase in palay production is no small matter.
"The increase would not have happened without the help of the people," he said.
The DA Secretary said he also stopped the fertilizer subsidy of the department after discovering that ordinary seeds were being placed inside sacks supposedly containing high-yield seeds.
Consultations with farmers later led to the funneling of funds to farm mechanization.
Alcala said he believes he continues to enjoy the trust of President Aquino.
"The President told me: just focus. Talagang ganyan. Part yan ng trabahong binigay sa iyo," he said.
He also denied accusations that he is part of a "Quezon mafia" involved in rice smuggling. He said that the Aquino government has already saved P147 billion on rice importations from 2010-2013 compared to 2008-2010.
"If I wanted to smuggle, I should have a lot of elbow room," he said.