Lopez laments CA rejection, says Duterte only one brave enough to be DENR chief

  • Erstwhile environment secretary lamented being rejected by Commission on Appointments
  • She said CA voting dictated by big business interests
  • She also said Duterte now the prime choice to be DENR chief because of his bravery

MANILA, Philippines – Smarting from the rejection of her appointment as environment secretary by the powerful Commission on Appointments, a bloodied but unbowed Gina Lopez said that business interests had marred the impartiality of the voting.

“It’s unfortunate that business interest had in fact run the day because that’s really what it is,” ABS-CBN quoted her as saying. “It’s very sad that in the Commission on Appointments, clearly, business interest have run the day. And I think that needs to be reevaluated because how can a body, which is mandated to make decisions based on the common good, make decisions based on business interests?”

“What else can you say? The ones who voted no — explain it, what are the reasons for, explain it,” she added. “We planned many things. What a waste. Everyone would have benefited from caring for the environment.”

Lopez also took a personal swipe at the CA members who voted against her; saying they were foregoing the right of the Filipinos to health and a clean environment in favor of business interests.

“Why are you there? What is your mandate? To serve the people. On what pretext are you making decisions? You’re talking about this law and that mining law. My God. Why are we there? If our lawmakers don’t stand by the God-given right, what hope do we have? What message is being given here: that if you want to be confirmed, don’t go against business interests,” she said.

Since she cannot be re-appointed again, Lopez said only someone like President Rodrigo Duterte can be trusted to head the DENR owing to his political will and willingness to butt heads with big business.

“My choice for DENR secretary is President Duterte. I can’t think of any other person. It needs guts. It needs tapang [bravery] because you have to step on business interests,” she said. “In terms of leading the agency, I don’t think he can get anyone new. You’ll get clobbered.”