THE Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC) has cleared Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol of allegations of unexplained wealth.
In PACC’s Resolution No. 14, Series of 2019 dated June 10, 2019 signed by its chairman Dante Jimenez, the Commission found no evidence against Piñol pointing to unexplained wealth.
The PACC conducted the lifestyle check on Piñol after the latter formally asked the commission to conduct an investigation in view of the rumors that he benefitted financially from rice importation deals.
In his letter to Jimenez, Piñol gave the PACC the authority to open his bank accounts, track his financial transactions, conduct a background check and even tap his phones.
In clearing Piñol of any irregularities, the PACC commended him for coming forward and volunteering to be subjected to a thorough lifestyle check and investigation following allegations that he benefitted from transactions in his capacity as Agriculture secretary.
“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. The PACC gives great importance to this unprecedented action by a top government official and heralds this as a symbol of the success in the campaign of President Rodrigo Duterte for transparency and accountability in government service,” as stated in the resolution.
The PACC also expressed optimism that this will be the new culture in government service where instead of clamping up and issuing denials in the face of insinuations of corruption, public officials should open up to thorough scrutiny.
Piñol, meanwhile, expressed relief over the PACC’s decision citing his action as proof that President Duterte has people around him who believe in his advocacy for upright and transparent governance.
“I am truly humbled by these findings by the Anti-Graft Commission which came seven months after I submitted myself voluntarily to a Lifestyle Check. Late last year, shortly after three agencies, including the controversial National Food Authority, were placed under the DA, rumors swirled that I benefitted financially from rice importation deals. It was a rumor which reached the ear of President Duterte and while he did not confront me about it, I felt the need to clear myself from the issues,” Piñol explained.