DA Sec. Manny Piñol to File a Case Against Baguio Journalist for Malicious Post

One of the most hardworking Cabinet Member of the Duterte administration, Agriculture Secretary Manny Piñol will file an alleged libel case against veteran Baguio journalist Frank Cimatu who accused the DA Secretary of amassing P21-Million from bird flu.

According to Sec. Piñol he received a forwarded message from former Undersecretary Bobby Capco about the malicious Facebook post of Frank Cimatu that says "Agri Sec got rich by 21-M in 6 months. Bird Flu pa more."

The former governor of North Cotabato who is also a well-known personality in the Philippine boxing scene, denied all the allegations thrown at him by Cimatu and he could not understand how the journalist could have jumpe to such malicious post basing on a report by PCIJ's author Malou Mangahas.

Sec. Piñol explained that the P21-Million increase on his SALN from 2009 under the Arroyo administration was due to the fact of his engagements in various business ventures. His 2016 SALN is also with the same level compared to his ITR in 2015.

Here's the Complete Report of Sec. Manny Piñol:

Accusation most unfair


By Manny Piñol

Budapest, Hungary - I was having my late lunch at about 2 p.m. in a Thai restaurant here today when I received a forwarded message from former Undersecretary Bobby Capco and upon reading it, I totally lost my appetite.

It is a Facebook post by Baguio City newsman Frank Cimatu and it says "Agri Sec got rich by 21-M in 6 months. Bird Flu pa more."

Being a former journalist myself, I know Cimatu personally and I could not understand how he could have jumped to such a malicious post basing on a report by the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism (PCIJ) written by Malou Mangahas.

The report was all about the Statements of Assets Liabilities and Net Worth (SALN) which public officials like me are required to file every year.

The PCIJ, in citing my case said: "Across a seven-year period, a fantastic P21,956,632.23-increase was recorded in the net worth of Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol, or from P3,643,000 in the SALN he filed as of Dec. 31, 2009, to P25,599,632.23 in his latest SALN as of Dec. 31, 2016.

"PCIJ also noted a modest P2,650,000-increase in the net worth of Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III, or from P12,800,000 in the SALN he filed as of December 2008 to P15,450,000 in his latest SALN as of December 2016.

"Both Piñol and Bello are allies of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. Both skipped public service for some years, hence PCIJ has no SALN copies for them in the intervening years."

Nowhere in the report did it say that the increase in my net worth happened during the six months that I became Secretary of Agriculture.

The fact is that the assets and liabilities I declared in my 2016 SALN are consistent with the assets and liabilities I declared in my Income Tax Return (ITR) which I filed with the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) in 2015.

In the period July 1 until today, there was no P21-M added assets, either in money in the bank or in acquired properties.

There is an additional cash deposit of less than P1-M but this represents the salary and allowances I received as Agriculture Secretary.

Immediately, I made comments on the post of Cimatu and I am sharing these here:

"Emmanuel Pinol you're utterly careless and irresponsible as a journalist frank cimatu. you should have known that i was out of government from 2010 to 2016. i applied for a P10-m loan from land bank to start a poultry breeding project of a chicken breed which i myself developed. there are bank documents to prove that. also, the saln i submitted in december 2016 contained almost the same level of assets declared in my ITR in 2015 as a private businessman. i will publish that document as soon as i get back to the philippines. i will ask my lawyers on what action to take against you. but let me tell you this, you have lost my respect. all these years i have looked at you as a responsible and respectable journalist. now, you are nothing but dirty trash.

Emmanuel Pinol your post is very libelous. ano ibig mo sabihin sa "bird flu pa more?" kumita ako sa bird flu? napaka gago mo! magkita nga tayo para magkaalaman.

Winchell Campos Of course "bird flu pa more" only connotes malicious intent, as if, we get happy when disaster strikes the heart of every poor farmer. Don't know how Frank Cimatu can get away with libel on this one, na parang having a disaster is the opportunity to get rich

Emmanuel Pinol as a former journalist myself, i am pained by this accusation. all the while i thought that my former brothers in the profession were happy and proud with the performance of a former journalist as cabinet secretary. mali pala ako. it looks like some are just waiting for a chance to pounce on me. crab mentality in its worse form.

Emmanuel Pinol Ariel Valerio i challenge you to file a case against me on the basis of your conflict of interest theory. it could be a landmark case. should an agriculture secretary cease from engaging in farming upon his appointment because of conflict of interest?

Emmanuel Pinol Ariel Valerio so hindi na rin ako magtatanim ng gulay sa farm ko dahil agriculture secretary na ako? sabihin ko sa mga manok ko hwag muna kayo magkastahan dahil agriculture secretary na ang amo nyo?

Emmanuel Pinol @ariel valerio why did you delete your comments? have you finally realised your stupidity?"

All these times that I worked as Agriculture Secretary, I have tried to live within the standards for government officials like me.

I live in a rented house along Congressional Avenue Extension in Quezon City which costs me and my staff P20,000.

I am very transparent and I am willing to submit to any investigating body all of my bank accounts and copies of ITR before I entered government to prove that I never gained P21-M in six months, much more from the Bird Flu crisis.

If there is one thing I treasure as a public servant, it is an untarnished record as a public official. I may not be perfect but certainly, I am not a crook.

Cimatu will not get out of this malicious insult unscathed.

As soon as I arrive in Manila tomorrow, I will consult with my lawyers so I could file a libel case against Cimatu to teach him a lesson.

(A photo grab of Cimatu's post taken by Bobby Capco.)

Source: Manny Piñol FB Page

DA Sec. Manny Piñol to File a Case Against Baguio Journalist for Malicious Post DA Sec. Manny Piñol to File a Case Against Baguio Journalist for Malicious Post Reviewed by Phil Newsome on September 26, 2017 Rating: 5
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