MANILA — President Rodrigo Duterte has yet to accept the courtesy resignation tendered by Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol last week, Malacañang said on Monday.
Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said Piñol is still expected to attend and participate in the scheduled Cabinet meeting on Monday afternoon.
“The President has not yet accepted his (Piñol) resignation. Courtesy resignation lang naman ‘yun (It’s just a courtesy resignation),” Panelo said in a Palace briefing.
Panelo said Duterte wanted to speak first to Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) interim Chief Minister Al-Hajj Murad Ebrahim before deciding whether or not he will accept Piñol’s resignation.
“Di ba sinabi ni Presidente, ‘I will ask Mr. Murad kung okay sa kanila’, di ba (Didn’t the President say, ‘I will first ask Mr. Murad if it’s okay with him)?” he added.
On June 27, Senator Christopher “Bong” Go bared that Piñol has offered to resign following reports that the President is no longer satisfied with his performance.
Piñol resigned “with the best interest” of his department but at the same time, expressed willingness to be reassigned to whichever agency he will be effective, including the Mindanao Development Authority (MinDa).
In a chance interview the same day, Duterte clarified that he is still trusts the Agriculture chief noting that he has no record of corruption.
“He is not corrupt. He’s just talkative,” Duterte told reporters.
Piñol offered to step down amid criticisms following a controversy over his response to the Recto Bank incident where a Chinese vessel allegedly rammed and abandoned a Philippine fishing boat and the 22 Filipino fishermen on June 9.
Last year, critics called for Piñol’s resignation amid spikes in the prices of rice, vegetables, meat and fish that increased inflation. Azer Parrocha / PNA – northboundasia.com