Military man may replace PiAol as DA chief

MANILA A military man may take the place of Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Manny PiAol once he is formally designated as point man to develop Mindanao.

President Rodrigo Duterte said on Wednesday he is already scouting around for PiAol's replacement, stressing that he preferred military men because they immediately follow his orders.

(I'm) scouting around. I think maybe again a military man. Kasi madali mag-utos magtrabaho. And they do it without a question, Duterte said in a television interview with Pastor Apollo Quiboloy in Davao City.

Kasi sabi ko sa kanya (Because when I tell him) do this and do that, do not question me because I will never give you an order to do something that is illegal, he added.

While Duterte did not name any military man in particular, he stressed the need to delegate someone to coordinate with the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) for the region's benefit.

Duterte said he will reassign PiAol to the Mindanao Development Authority (MinDa) and give him a Cabinet position.

It's Pinol who's moving to another entity. PiAol is a very good Cabinet member. Ang problema, ako. Kasi wala akong tao (The problem is me. I don't have someone) since the BARMM. There is nobody on my side dito (here) talking to the BARMM to make the necessary arrangements for this entity to grow and their needs, Duterte said.

The President pointed out that the Philippines is an agriculture country and PiAol was the perfect person to develop Mindanao given his experience as a farmer and former North Cotabato governor.

I must remember that it is an agricultural country and PiAol is a farmer who was once a governor and he was born there and he's good. The Mindanao Development Authority is a Cabinet position. He is still a Cabinet, he added.

Last week, Duterte said BARMM interim Chief Minister Al-Hajj Murad Ebrahim has accepted the President's proposal to designate PiAol as the point man to develop Mindanao.

I'm sure he can help the BARMM and the government to fast-track everything, Duterte said.

Murad was initially reluctant about PiAol's designation, saying the Moro people disliked him because of his role in junking the memorandum of agreement on ancestral domain (MOA-AD) which was meant to expand the autonomous Muslim region in Mindanao in 2008 but still respected the President's decision.

On June 27, PiAol offered to resign and requested to be transferred to an agency where he can effectively serve, particularly MinDa. (PNA)

Source: Philippines News Agency

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