(JUNE 12, 2019) – The Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC) has cleared Agriculture Secretary Manny Piñol of corruption after a seven-month investigation.
In its Resolution No. 14 dated June 10, the PACC said it “found no evidence pointing to unexplained wealth.”
The PACC launched a lifestyle check on Piñol late last year, following rumors that he milked money from rice importation deals when he became ex-officio head of the National Food Authority (NFA).
Piñol was designated chairman of the NFA Council as mandated by President Rodrigo Duterte’s Executive Order 62, which placed the agency back to the Department of Agriculture (DA) from the Office of the President.
Among the agencies involved in the investigation were the Anti-Money Laundering Council, National Bureau of Investigation, Land Transportation Office, Land Registration Authority, and the Philippine National Police.
The PACC, chaired by Dante Jimenez, commended Piñol for volunteering to be subjected to the investigation following rumors that he benefitted from NFA transactions in his capacity as DA chief.
“Instead of issuing self-serving statements to defend himself, Secretary Piñol opened all of his records including his bank accounts and financial documents to the graft investigators,” Jimenez wrote in a statement.
He added: “It should be made public that after Secretary Piñol volunteered to undergo a full lifestyle check, other officials of the Duterte Administration have followed suit and are now undergoing probe by the PACC.”
The Commission said it will submit the resolution clearing Piñol to Duterte, including copies of all documents gathered during the investigation.
The president has repeatedly warned of firing government officials over just a “whiff” of corruption.