Duterte defends Gina Lopez: ‘She’s just doing her job’
President Rodrigo Duterte used his first State of the Nation Address (Sona) on Monday to defend newly installed Environment Secretary Regina “Gina” Lopez against criticisms, saying she was a “crusader” doing her job.
“Many are complaining against the appointment of Gina Lopez. But si Gina, pati ako we share the same, paradigm—the interest of the country should come first,” Duterte said.
“Gina Lopez and I are telling you kung ano ang governments standards (what the governments standards are), don’t destroy the environment…wala tayong problema (we won’t have any problem)…Just pay the correct taxes.”
“Gina Lopez is just doing her job. You know, she’s really a crusader,” he said.
Duterte then recalled how Lopez got the job after the latter paid him a visit several times in his home province in Davao.
“Ano kaya kung ikaw na lang DENR (Department of Environment and Natural Resources) [secretary] ko?” he recalled telling Lopez. “Bigla syang sagot, totoo ka?”
After consulting her family, Lopez then accepted the job, the President said. RAM/rga
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