MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte officially appointed Emmanuel Piñol, his former agriculture secretary, as the new Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) chairperson.
Piñol was appointed on Monday, August 5, according to a list of presidential appointees provided by Malacañang.
MinDA is an agency under the national government tasked with overseeing development and economic growth in the entire island region of Mindanao.
Duterte's announcement of his intention to give Piñol the post was not without controversy. The President described Piñol's job as MinDA chief as being his "point man" for the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.
This did not sit well with some members of the Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA), the transition government of the new region, because of Piñol's fierce opposition to a previous agreement for creating an autonomous Muslim region.
However, in a meeting with Duterte, the BTA's leader, Interim Chief Minister Murad Ebrahim, said Piñol's appointment would be acceptable to him and the BTA.
Piñol takes the place of Datu Abul Khayr Dangcal Alonto, MinDA's first Muslim chairperson, who died last May 9.
In the Department of Agriculture (DA) meanwhile, agriculture expert William Dar was chosen by Duterte to replace Piñol.
A former governor of North Cotabato, Piñol is a longtime friend of Duterte's who was very active in his 2016 presidential campaign. – Rappler.com
Pia Ranada covers the Office of the President and Bangsamoro regional issues for Rappler. While helping out with desk duties, she also watches the environment sector and the local government of Quezon City. For tips or story suggestions, you can reach her at email@example.com.