Fired Evasco protégé rants against Manny Piñol: Pakialamero!
The dismissed subordinate of Cabinet Secretary Jun Evasco is accusing Agriculture Secretary Manny Piñol of meddling into the affairs of 12 government agencies under Evasco’s watch, specifically the National Food Authority.
Former Undersecretary Maia Chiara Halmen Valdez said Piñol should not have dipped his hands into the debate betwee Evasco and NFA Administrator Jason Aquino on the country’s rice import strategy.
Evasco is proposing to import 250 metric tons of rice through importer-farmers while Aquino and Pinol were pushing for a government-to-government (G2G) importation of 1 million metric tons of rice.
President Rodrigo Duterte fired Valdez for usurping the powers of Aquino in the NFA Council by railroading the farmer imports and moving to oust Aquino from power. Duterte said Aquino was his man and that he should decide on the NFA import strategy.
“On their desperate attempt to convince the President to resort to G2G, the Agriculture Secretary who has been meddling on the functions and affairs of the OCS, and the NFA administrator have made it appear as if there is a shortage of rice in the country, causing alarm and possible upward movement in the prices of commercial rice,” Valdez said.
“It is not for them (Aquino and Piñol) to evaluate the rice stock of the country, it is a function given by law to the NFAC and the National Food Security Committee. The DA’s function is to ensure that there be sufficient agricultural produce from our local farmers, but he probably does not know the meaning of his position, and has been excessively busy tinkering on other offices,” she added.
Valdez has also accused Special Assistant to the President Bong Go of blocking all of their communication of Evasco to the President, including a request to meet with Duterte, while Aquino and Pinol “were able to get direct access to the President.”
“It appears to us that this request, along with the documents submitted by the OCS, which were personally handed down by Cabsec to the head of OSAP, have either failed to reach the President or have been tampered,” said Valdez.