Piñol subjects himself to lifestyle check to avoid demolition job
Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol submitted himself to a lifestyle check to counter a possible demolition job against him.
According to him, shortly after the National Food Authority (NFA) started enforcing the Suggested Retail Price (SRP) Program, which stabilized rice prices and ended hoarding, there was a noticeable increase in the frequency of media stories insinuating corruption in the rice importation.
“There was a media report which said that in one meeting of the NFA Council, I insisted on a certain mode of importation suggesting that I may have benefited financially,” Piñol said.
“The objective is very simple and clear: destabilize the DA Secretary by raising issues of corruption until it reaches the ear of President Rodrigo Duterte,” he added.
He then said the main suspect in this demolition job are members of the rice cartel which has controlled and profited from rice trading.
“In the past, I may just have opted to shrug it off and let pass but the negative reports came incessantly. This time, however, I felt that if I do not confront the issue, it would earn credence and destroy the name that I have protected all of these years while in public service,” he further said.
Piñol particularly submitted a formal letter to the Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC) voluntarily submitting himself to a Lifestyle Check.
In the letter, he gave them blanket authority to check his bank accounts, check his actual lifestyle, inspect his rented house in Quezon City and his farm house in Kidapawan City.
“I even joked that they could tap my phones provided they don’t listen in on intimate conversations,” Piñol further said.