MANILA - Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) chairman Manny Piñol said Wednesday he left the agriculture department because of the President's economic managers and "a very powerful political personality."
Piñol, who served as agriculture secretary for 3 years, submitted his courtesy resignation to President Rodrigo Duterte last June.
"At odds with the Economic Managers and a very powerful political personality, I felt then that I would get nowhere in my dream to serve the farmers and fisherfolks," he said in a Facebook post.
"I thank the stakeholders of Agriculture for their support and at the same time beg for their understanding for my decision to leave the Department of Agriculture. This was in the best interest of the Department and the stakeholders."
Sen. Bong Go, Duterte's long-time presidential aide, had said the 2018 rice shortage could have affected Piñol's performance in the Cabinet.
“Maybe isa po ’yun sa dahilan medyo meron po sa gabinete isa po sya sa mga sinisisi ng ibang economic advisers kaya nagkaroon ng rice shortage,” Go said.
(Maybe it was one of the reasons why some economic advisers blame him for the rice shortage.)
Piñol assumed his new Cabinet position on Wednesday, saying he would "work just as hard" as he did at the DA.
"This new responsibility is a multi-task job to include Agriculture, Trade and Commerce, International Relations and even Security Concerns," he said.
"My added task is to serve as President Rody Duterte's 'Point Person' to the newly formed Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM). This will also bring me closer to my family and, of course, my farm."