Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) Secretary Emmanuel Piñol has resigned from his post to run as senator in the 2022 elections.
He, however, will not run under the ticket of President Rodrigo Duterte.
In a Facebook post Monday, Piñol said he tendered his resignation to Pres. Rodrigo Duterte effective Oct. 5 and “thanked him for the opportunity to serve the country.”
“Today, I have reached a decision to vie for a seat in the Philippine Senate to pursue my advocacy to help the Filipino farmers and fishermen become more productive while at the same time ensuring food security and economic prosperity in the country,” he said.
Piñol served as Agriculture Secretary from June 30, 2016 to Aug. 5, 2019 and as Chairman of the Mindanao Development Authority from Aug. 5, 2019 to Oct. 5, 2021.
Piñol said he will file his candidacy on Oct. 8.
“I am heeding the call of the agriculture and fisheries sector to be their voice in the Senate and to stand up and ensure their well-being against the deluge of anti-agriculture policies and legislations, which had made life difficult for them,” he said.
Piñol, who will run under the Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC), said his friendship with Duterte would remain “steadfast” and will never be affected by politics.
He recalled that in May 2016, shortly after Duterte’s win, the president’s close-in aide and now senator, Christopher Lawrence Go, asked him what Cabinet position he wanted to occupy in the Duterte administration.
“Does my resignation and decision to run for a Senate seat outside of the party of President Duterte mean that I am parting ways with him or I am turning my back on him? No, never,” he added.