By Genalyn Kabiling

Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol has not amassed unexplained wealth based on a seven-month lifestyle check conducted by the Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC).

Agriculture Secretary Manny Piñol during a presscon at Bureau of Plant in Manila. (JANSEN ROMERO / MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO)

The commission, led by Chairman Dante Jimenez, has reportedly approved a resolution clearing Piñol in the lifestyle investigation amid recent allegations of corruption.

“The Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC) under the Office of the President through its Resolution No. 14, Series of 2019 dated June 10, 2019 cleared Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel F. Piñol, and found no evidence pointing to unexplained wealth,” Jimenez said in a statement.

Jimenez also praised Piñol for volunteering to undergo a lifestyle check and investigation amid allegations he benefited from certain transactions in the DA. Rumors earlier circulated that the DA chief earned from the rice importation deals when the National Food Authority was placed under the agency’s supervision.

“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 said.

The lifestyle check, he said, was conducted with the assistance of the government agencies such as the Anti-Money Laundering Council, National Bureau of Investigation, Land Transportation Office, Land Registration Authority, and the Philippine National Police-Civil Security Group-Firearms and Explosives Office.

Piñol meantime has welcomed the PACC decision, saying he was “humbled” as well as “overjoyed” by the commission findings.

“After a long wait with bated breath, the Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC) finally released yesterday (Tuesday) an En Banc resolution clearing me from involvement in any irregularities or corrupt practices as Secretary of Agriculture,” he said in a Facebook post.

“I feel relieved. In fact, I am overjoyed and overwhelmed by the heartwarming statement issued by the PACC citing my action as proof that President Duterte has people around him who believe in his advocacy for upright and transparent governance,” he said.