Piñol cleared in hidden wealth charges after opening bank accounts to PACC


DAVAO CITY – Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol on Wednesday said he was finally relieved after the Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC) cleared him of any wrongdoing.

The PACC, headed by Chairman Dante Jimenez, started an investigation on allegations of corruption against Piñol about seven months ago.

Among these allegations was that he made money from the rice importation deals that the National Food Authority, which has been placed under the Department of Agriculture

Piñol admitted that the said allegation and other claims have reached President Duterte.

“While he did not confront me about it, I felt the need to clear myself from the issues,” he said.

Piñol said he wrote Jimenez and asked him to conduct an investigation instead of just making a blanket denial.

Piñol said he gave the PACC full authority to open his bank accounts, “track my financial transactions, conduct a background check and even tap my phones.”

In PACC Resolution No. 14, which Jimenez signed on June 10, the anti-corruption agency said “it found no evidence pointing to unexplained wealth”, which could indicate wrongdoing, in the case of Piñol.

“The lifestyle check was conducted with the help of partner agencies, including the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC), the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), the Land Transportation Office (LTO), the Land Registration Authority (LRA), and the Philippine National Police, Civil Security Group, Firearms and Explosives Office and other concerned agencies,” Jimenez wrote in a statement.(PNA)