Agri chief denies getting scolding from Duterte over Isabela absence

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 05 2018 08:49 AM | Updated as of Aug 08 2019 02:54 PM

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Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol denied Monday that President Rodrigo Duterte chided him over his absence at a recent command conference in Isabela province, which was ravaged by typhoon Rosita.

A news report quoted Duterte as saying that "somebody has to call the attention of Manny [Piñol]" for his "no show" at the November 2 event.

Piñol said he informed the Office of the President that he couldn't make it to Isabela because he was in his hometown in Cotabato to visit the graves of his late father and other relatives on All Saints' Day and All Souls' Day.

He said he sent Agriculture Director Narciso Edillo instead to represent him.

"Hindi naman totoo iyung sinabi nila na pinagalitan ako ng Presidente. Hinanap ako," he told radio DZMM, citing information from Edillo.

(It is not true that the President publicly rebuked me. He only looked for me.)

"Siguro hindi nasabi sa kaniya ng OP na wala ako at nagpa-represent ako," he added.

(The Office of the President may not have informed him that I was not there and that I sent a representative.)

The Agriculture chief also said that contrary to the news report, he was with the President during his visit to Cagayan Valley, Ilocos and Benguet, which were among the worst-hit by typhoon Ompong in September.

He said he would fly to Isabela on Monday to work on Duterte's directives.

Rosita made landfall in Isabela last Tuesday. Its fierce winds and rains unleashed deadly landslides across Luzon, forced thousands to flee and left some P1.82 billion in agricultural damage.

DZMM, 5 October 2018