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Palace scouting for new Agri chief

President Rodrigo Duterte on Wednesday said he might appoint another military man to replace Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol, following the latter’s upcoming reappointment in Mindanao Development Authority.

The Chief Executive, in a television interview, said it was easier to have Cabinet men from the military because his orders were carried out without question and corruption.

“I’m scouting around. Maybe again a military man because it’s easy to give order and they do it without question,” Duterte said when asked about Piñol’s possible replacement.

While Piñol was never in the military service, he was former governor of North Cotabato and a former senior editor of the old Philippines News Agency and a former sportscaster. 

“When I tell you do this or do that, do not question. I will never give you an order that is something illegal,” Duterte said.

The President has been criticized for appointing military men in his administration, among them: Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu, Interior Secretary Eduardo Año, Social Welfare Secretary Rolando Bautista, and Customs Commissioner Rey Leonardo Guerrero.

Duterte earlier announced that Piñol would serve as his “point man” to help the new Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, a region created as a result of the passage of the Bangsamoro Organic Law.

He described Piñol as a “very good Cabinet member,” believing he was qualified for the post due to his experience as a former North Cotabato governor and a farmer.

Piñol drew flak for his meeting with the 22 fishermen whose boat was hit by Chinese vessels in the Recto Bank incident and the shortage in rice supply.

The President earlier said Bangsamoro region interim chief minister Murad Ebrahim had welcomed the transfer of Piñol as head of the Mindanao Development Authority.

Duterte and Murad reportedly met last week to discuss updates about the progress in the new region, but the Palace has yet to disclose details regarding the meeting.

Topics: Rodrigo Duterte , Emmanuel Piñol , Mindanao Development Authority , Roy Cimatu , Rolando Bautista
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