DA Sec. Manny Piñol Returns Rolex Watch Because of the Government’s “No Gift Policy”

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Secretary Manny Piñol of the Department of Agriculture showcase how to serve truthfully to the Filipino people after he returned a very expensive gift, a Rolex watch from the owner due to Pres. Duterte’s “No Gift Policy,” under his administration.

According to the DA Secretary the Rolex watch he received and returned was given during a dinner tendered by top officials of a very large agricultural company.

Sec. Manny noted that the Rolex submariner is considered as almost every man dream watch and based on his own research the watch cost around P450,000.00 but because of his commitment to served the Filipino people he decided to returned the watch to its rightful owner.

Here’s the Complete Statement of Sec. Manny Piñol:

I love Rolex watches, but…
By Manny Piñol

Very recently, I received a small box of gift during a dinner tendered by top officials of a very large agricultural company.

I really did not give it much importance because the giving of mementos
is part of the tradition among officials at our level, especially when
we have engagements with diplomats.

The Department of
Agriculture, for example, always has a box of gift for every ambassador
who calls on me in the office and this contains handicraft items.

There is always an exchange of presents during formal meetings,
especially during calls on top officials of foreign agencies as part of
the courtesies.

The one I received recently was just stuffed in a
bag along with the other mementos which I usually receive during
ceremonial exchange of gifts.

It was not until I was in my farm
in Kidapawan City, when I decided to open the box and I almost fell off
my seat when I saw what was inside the box.

It was a Rolex submariner, a watch which almost every man dreams of owning.

I actually own an old model the Rolex Oyster Perpetual given to me by a
late friend, Bening Urquico, before I entered politics in 1995 but I
seldom use it because I am not fond of wearing jewellery.
Besides, it is so old that it spends more time in the repair shop than on my wrist.

When I checked its price in the internet, I found out that the watch
had a value of about P450,000 and I would be lying if I say that the
thought of keeping it did not cross my mind.

Who does not like to own a Rolex anyway?

However, the realisation that accepting such an expensive gift would be
a violation of the law made me decide to return it to the sender but I
did so respectfully.

I explained that I could not take the gift
because not only because the company is involved in activities which
would require the supervision of the Department which I head but also
because the law prohibits officials like me from accepting expensive

I added that I could go to jail if I was found to have
kept the watch or accepted expensive gifts from people with interests in
the Dept. of Agriculture.

Maybe, if it came from one of my brothers or my children, I would have gladly kept the gift.

When I turned over the box to the giver, whose identity I will not
divulge anymore, I felt as if a huge burden was taken off my back.

Now, I can look at anybody straight in the eye and tell them that I am
following President Rody Duterte’s directive that members of his Cabinet
must not be linked to any act of corruption.

I know it is
Christmas but for us in government, there must be a careful discernment
on what kind of Christmas presents we could receive and from whom.

Merry Christmas and may God bless us all.

Source: Sec. Manny Piñol FB Page

Ed Umbao

Founder of PhilNews.xyz | co-Founder of PhilNews.ph

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