MANILA, Philippines – Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC) cleared Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol of all allegations.
Seven months ago, PACC Chairman Dante Jimenez launched an investigation on the corruption claims against Piñol which included accusations that he earned money from rice importation deals under the National Food Authority (NFA).
The NFA was placed under the Department of Agriculture last year, September amid rice woes.
Piñol said that these allegations have reached President Rodrigo Duterte, along with other claims.
“While [President Duterte] did not confront me about [these allegations], I felt the need to clear myself from the issues,” said Piñol, who immediately wrote to Jimenez to start an investigation.
“The easiest way would have been to issue statements denying it, but I thought that denials would simply be self-serving,” he added. “I have always believed that the best way to address issues is to hold the bull by its horns.”
According the Piñol, the PACC was given full access to his bank accounts and were even allowed to tap his phones. He further stressed that his decision to launch an investigation was because he is “easily affected by issues casting doubt on my integrity as a public official.”
In the statement released by Jimenez on Tuesday, the lifestyle check was conducted with the help of the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC), National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), Land Transportation Office (LTO), Land Registration Authority (LRA), and other concerned agencies such as the Philippine National Police (PNP) etc.
Jimenez signed the PACC Resolution No. 14 on June 10, saying the anti-corruption body “found no evidence pointing to unexplained wealth.”
Photo from Manny Piñol’s Facebook page