Press Release
May 3, 2017

For the confirmation of Environment Sec. GINA LOPEZ
Commission on Appointments

Mr. President, I would like to take this opportunity to explain my vote in favor of the confirmation of Ms. Gina Lopez as Environment Secretary.

I believe that Gina Lopez is highly qualified for the position of DENR Secretary because of her commitment to serve the country and her unwavering advocacy to save our environment. The previous administration saw her efforts and initiatives for the rehabilitation of Pasig River, eventually appointing her as Chairperson of the Pasig River Rehabilitation Commission. She also launched the Save Palawan Movement and stood up to the challenge of gathering 10 Million signatures to voice out that key biodiversity areas must be protected and not be ravaged by mining.

Recently, she put an end to the longtime struggle of our environment from destructive mining operations. Mr. President, Gina Lopez should be recognized because it took for a lady Secretary to have the guts of going against the brazen violations of big time miners.

This is feat is admirable, and I share her conviction that no amount of income contributions to the country's GDP can compensate the environmental destructions and negative impacts of the mining operations.

Mr. President, we have to look beyond certain qualifications before individuals can serve the country and be a catalyst for change. Secretary Gina Lopez has the passion to take care of the environment and address the indigenous peoples' displacement in their ancestral lands. It is just regrettable that we are saying NO to her leadership in the DENR. Nevertheless, I will respect the decision of the body.

Thank you.

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