PACC clears PiAol of wrongdoing

DAVAO CITY Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel PiAol 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 PiAol 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, made.

PiAol 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.

PiAol said what he did was to write Jimenez and asked him to conduct an investigation.

The easiest way would have been to issue statements denying it but I thought that denials would simply be self-serving. I have always believed that the best way to address issues is to hold the bull by its horns. That led me to the decision to open myself to a Lifestyle Check by the PACC which I formally manifested in a letter addressed to Chairman Dante LA Jimenez, he added.

PiAol 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.

"I'm all in. Cuentas Claras," he recounted what he told Jimenez.

PiAol said his decision to undergo an investigation was I am easily affected by issues casting doubt on my integrity as a public official.

If there is anything I treasure most, it is an untarnished name because that name will be carried on by my children and grandchildren, he said.

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 PiAol.

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 released on Tuesday.

Today, 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, PiAol said.

He said while he cannot claim to be a perfect government worker he could not be tainted with corruption.

I could and may have made the wrong decisions. People could even accuse me of incompetence but nobody could question my dedication to my job and my work ethics, PiAol said. I offer this gift to my children and grandchild, Duane, my family, my friends and people who loved and supported me. Most of all, I thank God for guiding me and giving me the courage to resist temptations. (PNA)

Source: Philippines News Agency