Let the truth out! Piñol denies involvement over 2018 rice crisis
“Let the truth out!”
That’s what Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol said as he denied his involvement over the rice crisis that some parts of the country experienced last year.
“As I prepare to take on my new assignment from President Rody Duterte, I would like to leave behind a clean slate and tell the real story behind some of the most controversial issues which surfaced from mid-2016 to mid-2019,” Piñol said.
To recall, Piñol is set to leave the Department of Agriculture (DA) to become the new chair of the Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA).
The issues he was referring to were the much-talked about “rice crisis” in 2018, the controversial Rice Tariffication Law, the rock-bottom drop of Copra prices, and other problems affecting the coconut industry.
In a lengthy post, Piñol began by denying his involvement in the so-called “Rice Crisis” of 2018, which started as early as February when the National Food Authority (NFA) announced that it was running out of stocks of the imported rice it was selling in the market at P27 per kilo.
He clarified that “there was really NO RICE CRISIS” and it was just a simple case of mismanagement resulting from disagreements between the NFA Council and the NFA.
“At that time the DA was not yet involved,” Piñol said.
From July 2016 to September 2018, the NFA was under the Office of the Cabinet Secretary and the DA was not even a member of the NFA Council, he said.
“I am making this classificatory piece because some members of the Economic Team have pointed to the 2018 “Rice Crisis” as the basis for their controversial move to liberalise the rice industry. That is another story that I will write about soon,” Piñol said.
“My parents, both public school teachers and farmers, taught me and my brothers a very important lesson in life: If you are wrong, admit it and apologise. Make amends and correct the mistake.But they also taught us to: Stand up and fight for your right when you are falsely accused of a wrongdoing. The 2018 ‘Rice Crisis’? I and the DA had absolutely no part in that,” he further said.