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Evasco’s era over: Ex-rebel priest ousted from NFA Council after being shut out of Palace meeting

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President Rodrigo Duterte has removed Cabinet Secretary Leoncio “Jun” Evasco Jr. from the National Food Authority, a sign that the former rebel priest no longer enjoys the same level of trust he used to have.

As if the ouster wasn’t hurtful enough, Duterte did it in a meeting where Evasco wasn’t even present— at Malacañang with select Cabinet officials and ranking government officials.

According to Politiko’s source, the meeting scheduled at 4 p.m. was delayed by two hours because Duterte met Evasco at the Music Room to confront him about a confidential document leaked to the website Rappler.

Duterte accused Evasco of letting Rappler have the document, which detailed NFA administrator Jason Aquino’s alleged involvement in the sale of NFA rice stocks meant for Eastern Visayas to rice traders in Bulacan.

The President did not allow Evasco to join the meeting with his fellow Cabinet Secretaries after they talked.

During the meeting, it was decided that the NFA will be placed under the Department of Agriculture’s control once again, along with the Philippine Coconut Authority and Fertilizer and Pesticides Authority.

With Evasco out, the NFA Council will now be led jointly by the Department of Agriculture and the Office of the President, to be represented by Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea.

Evasco is considered one of the powerful Secretaries in the Cabinet, with 18 government agencies under his watch.

He is also the head of “Kilusang Pagbabago” and its mass-based arm “Masa Masid,” which would supposedly facilitate the transformation of the Philippine bureacracy into a socialist setup.