Evasco out of NFA Council

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, April 17) — Cabinet Secretary Leoncio "Jun" Evasco has been removed from the policy-making body of the National Food Authority (NFA), Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said Tuesday.

Roque read Evasco's statement in a press briefing in Boracay Tuesday--wherein the former NFA Council Chairman thanked President Rodrigo Duterte for his trust and maintained that that he has never been corrupt.

"I can never break the trust given to me by our President Rodrigo Roa Duterte especially when he appointed me to the position I am in now," Evasco said in his statement. He said it's a position he did not ask for but wholeheartedly accepted to help Duterte and to make government responsive to the needs of the people.

"In my more than 20 years in government and public service, including three terms as Mayor of the Municipality of Maribojoc in Bohol, I have never been charged with malfeasance, misfeasance or nonfeasance," Evasco said.

The Cabinet Secretary then called on the new NFA Council head to continue the transformation of the NFA.

Evasco's removal from the council comes after a strained relationship between him and NFA administrator Jason Aquino. The two have been at odds since their disagreements in public statements regarding the country's low supply of cheap rice.

Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol also posted a photo of the "reorganised" NFA Council on his Facebook page, after a meeting with President Rodrigo Duterte Monday night. Evasco, the Council Chair, was not in the photo.

According to Roque, among the decisions made during that meeting was the return of NFA and two other agencies under the Department of Agriculture.

Piñol, in an interview on CNN Philippines' The Source last week, said the council may be reorganized by Monday.

READ: Piñol: NFA Council may be reorganized