By Ali G. Macabalang
KIDAPAWAN CITY – Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA Chairman Manny Piñol has urged supporters not to bash President Rodrigo Duterte on Facebook pages associated with his name, apparently hinting at the possibility that partisan quarters may take such criticism to his liking.
Sec. Piñol aired his plea to the administrator(s) and members of the Facebook page titled “Emmanuel ‘Manny’ Piñol for Senator,” which a certain Gabriel Hebron Francisco, a Luzon-based farmer cum advocate of genuine agriculture development, created on July 6, 2020 to persuade the MinDA chief into seeking a senatorial seat in 2020.
The public page has since generated over 57,400 members as of this writing and the figure was steadily rising. In an earlier radio interview here, Sec. Pinol clarified that he had no knowledge about the creation of the page until it reached his attention only early this year.
Francisco, in his page advisory, said: “We need to gather enough number(s) to push Mr. Manny Piñol to run for senator. He is the only qualified person to promote and boost our country’s agriculture. (He is) known for his achievements and vision in the agricultural industry. He will be an effective chairman of the Senate’s committee on Agriculture.”
In a post this week, Piñol said was heartily thankful to the page administrator(s) and members for their trust in his consistent advocacy for better government attention to the agriculture and fisheries sectors.
“Naririnig ko po ang inyong mga boses at binibigyan ko nang malalim na pag-iisip ang inyong kahilingan. Gagawa po ako ng desisyon sa darating na mga araw at iyan po ay agad kong ipaalam sa inyo. Meron lang akong pakiusap at sana ay mapagbigyan ninyo ako,” Piñol said in his message to the page supporters.
“Napapansin ko at nababasa dito ang ibang mga posts at comments na pinupuna at tinutuligsa ang Pangulong Rody Duterte. Maski ano pa po ang opinyon ninyo sa performance ng Pangulo, nakikiusap po ako na h’wag na natin syang tuligsain sa pahina na ito kasi nakakabit ang pangalan ko,” he pleaded.
“Sana po maunawaan ninyo na maski merong mga polisiya na hindi magkatugma ang aming pananaw, kaibigan ko pa rin po ang Pangulong Duterte na nag-iisang ninong sa binyag ng aking bunsong anak, si Imman, at ninong sa kasal ng aking panganay, si Dra. Krista,” Piñol added.
He pointed out: “Hindi ko po narating ang posisyon kong ito at hindi rin ninyo ako nakilala kung hindi dahil sa kanya.
Simpleng batang probinsya lang po ako na marunong tumanaw ng utang na loob.”
“Dagdag pa, hindi naman natin kailangang makipag-away para makamit ang ating adhikain. Sana ay pagbigyan nyo ako. Salamat po,” the MinDA chief said.
Piñol, a former veteran journalist-turned mayor and governor in North Cotabato, was among the first batch of cabinet members appointed by Duterte upon winning the 2016 Presidential election.
He irrevocably resigned as Agriculture secretary in 2018 when he tried but failed to oppose the passage of the Rice Tarrification Law pushed by the economic cluster of the cabinet and some senators led by Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III and Senator Cynthia Villar.
The President named Piñol as MinDA chairman in August 2019 to succeed Abul Khayr Alonto, who died of lingering ailment on May 9 that same year. (AGM)