Emmanuel Piñol

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Emmanuel "Manny" Fantin Piñol (born 16 December 1953) is a Filipino journalist, writer, agriculture advocate, and politician. He was the former Secretary of Department of Agriculture (DA) and as member of the cabinet of incumbent President Rodrigo Duterte as the Chairman of the Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA).

He also served as Mayor of M'lang, Cotabato and as Governor and Vice Governor of Cotabato. He also worked for the National Grains Authority and as radio and print journalist.

He is married to Emily Asentista. They have three children: Maria Krista, Jose Bernadette, and Bernhart Immanuel.

Early Life and Education

He was born on 16 December 1953 in Bialong, M'lang, Cotabato. He is the second of 11 children of an immigrant Hiligaynon family from Dingle and Pototan, Iloilo. His siblings include Patricio Piñol, Magpet Mayor Efren Piñol, Cotabato 2nd District Representative Bernardo Piñol, Jr., M'lang Mayor Joselito Piñol, Noli Piñol Sr., Gerardo Piñol, Ferdinand Piñol, Nilo Piñol, and Cotabato Provincial Board member Socrates Piñol. He grew up their family’s rice farm and completed his studies in M'lang.

In 1976, he worked as a disc jockey for DXCM, the radio station of the University of Mindanao. He was also a radio journalist and newswriter for DXMS in Cotabato.

He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Development Communication, a Master’s Degree in Rural and Economic Development, and a PhD in Rural Development from the University of Southern Mindanao.


In 1978, Piñol served as a public relations officer of the National Grains Authority. He also became an editor of the Philippine News Agency (PNA) where he worked for 4 years. He was also the senior copy editor and sports columnist for Tempo, and a writer for then Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Rafael Alunan III and President Fidel V. Ramos.

He served as Mayor of M'lang from 1995 to 1998. He then served as Provincial Governor of Cotabato for three consecutive terms. As governor, he supported several agriculture programs such as the Malitubog-Maradugao irrigation and the bottom-up planning for the province’s rubber, oil palm, banana, and coconut industries.

In 2007, Piñol ran as vice governor of Cotabato and won. He is credited for having reduced the province’s poverty incidence from 41.6% in 2000 to 25.6% in 2009. He opposed the Memorandum of Agreement on Ancestral Domain (MOA-AD) between the government under then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).

In 2010, he ran again for Governor of Cotabato but lost. He ran again for the same post in 2013 but lost again.

In June 2017, he took oath as one of the newest members of the PDP-Laban political party and was named as the point person for Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM), with roles to ensure meaningful and effective interfacing of the national government and the BARMM.

He also served as Secretary of DA from 2016 to 2019. He was also appointed by Duterte as Chair of the MinDA. As MinDA chair, he espoused PPP as key priorities to advance Duterte administration’s overall thrusts for Mindanao: Poverty reduction, Peace with equity and agricultural Productivity.

On 5 October 2021, Piñol stepped down as chairman of MinDA and left the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino to pursue his Senate bid. He filed his certificate of candidacy (COC) for Senator on the same day. He joined the senatorial slate of Panfilo Lacson and Vicente Sotto III who are running for president and vice president.

Piñol aims to pass "enabling laws and promote policies that will promote productivity and food sufficiency in this country." He said that he will oppose rice tariffication, among other import policies. He added that while Filipinos want the farmers to produce more, only more or less 2% of the budget goes to agriculture and fisheries.




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