By Azer Parrocha
MANILA – Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) interim Chief Minister Al-Hajj Murad Ebrahim has accepted the proposal to designate Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol as the “point man” to develop Mindanao.
President Rodrigo Duterte bared this a day after meeting Murad in Malacañang on Wednesday (July 10).
“Yeah,” Duterte told reporters in a chance interview when asked if Murad accepted Duterte’s proposal to make Piñol the BARMM point person.
“Well, we are trying to fine-tune. And that is why the truth of the matter is I really transferred Piñol to assist them,” he added.
Duterte further spoke about Piñol’s qualifications including being born and raised there, being a farmer, and North Cotabato governor.
“I’m sure he can help the BARMM and the government to fast-track everything,” Duterte said.
“I am most interested na makita na ng (to see the) Moro people ‘yung hinihingi nila (get what they are asking for). To move faster so that you will re — you will realize the dream state that you have been asking for and fighting for,” he added.
Duterte earlier said he wanted to reassign Piñol to the Mindanao Development Authority (MinDa) but has yet to clarify what agency he will be serving for.
Earlier, Murad bared that the Moro people disliked Piñol because of his role in junking the memorandum of agreement on ancestral domain (MOA-AD) which was meant to expand the autonomous Muslim region in Mindanao in 2008.
He, however, said he will still respect the President’s choice.
Duterte said he will be reassigning Piñol to another agency after the latter tendered his courtesy resignation on June 27.
Piñol resigned “with the best interest” of his department but at the same time, expressed willingness to be reassigned to whichever agency he will be effective, including MinDa. (PNA)