- Powerful commission rejected appointment of Gina Lopez as DENR chief
- More than half of CA members voted against her appointment
MANILA, Philippines – Controversial Environment Secretary Gina Lopez’s eco-crusade came to an abrupt halt after the powerful Commission on Appointments rejected her bid as chief of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.
13 members of the 25-member CA voted against her appointment after its committee on environment and natural resources recommended the rejection in an executive session.
Sen. Manny Pacquiao, one of those who backed Lopez’s confirmation, commiserated with her following the rejection.
“Gina’s uphill climb to reach her goal as DENR secretary was a tall call decision, that perhaps, the wisdom of Solomon must be sought,” ABS-CBN quoted him as saying. “To Gina, I truly admire your passion and love for the environment, your dreams to make the brown fields turn into green, the water to be clean and clean fresh air to surround our land.
“I believe in my heart that no matter how several big people may be against Gina, she will always stand by what she believes is morally and environmentally right and righteous,” he added.
Aside from Pacquiao, Senators Francis Pangilinan, Loren Legarda and JV Ejercito indicated they voted for Lopez during the plenary session.
Lopez’s appointment as DENR chief had been met with fierce opposition from the mining industry which accused her of violating due process following her closures of several mines and the cancellation of several contracts.
She had been bypassed by the Commission and then re-appointed by President Rodrigo Duterte before the rejection. At this point however, she can no longer be re-appointed by the president.
Aside from Lopez, the CA also earlier rejected erstwhile Foreign Affairs Secretary Perfecto Yasay Jr.’s confirmation over issues involving his citizenship and the use of a foreign passport.