Gina Lopez: Solons offered P50M to dump me
Environment Secretary Gina Lopez alleged on Tuesday that congressmen were offered P50 million to vote against her confirmation after she ordered the closure of 23 mines and the scrapping of 75 mining contracts affecting watershed areas.
Lopez did not say who was specifically bribing which congressmen, or divulge the source of her information.
But she said: “I know it might affect my confirmation of appointment because I know that mining funds political campaigns.”
Let the dice fall
Lopez was a guest at a gathering by members of the Rotary Club of Makati, where she showed photos of the watersheds and river basins near the mining sites.
“I was told every congressman was offered P50 million if they voted against me. Well, people talk. Let the dice fall where it may,” Lopez said. “I don’t know what’s going to happen, so I might as well do what I have to do. Politics is so messy.”
Lopez is scheduled to go before the Commission on Appointment’s committee on environment and natural resources on March 1 for a confirmation hearing.
In an interview with reporters, Lopez claimed she spoke to President Duterte on Monday and that he backed her closure order.
In reaction to an export group’s concern that the crackdown would hurt the supply chain of raw materials, Lopez said irresponsible mining also killed the supply chain.
“They’re talking about the supply chain of their gold. What about the supply chain of biodiversity, of agriculture, ecotourism, they also have supply chains,” Lopez said.
“Which supply chain can give the greatest economic benefit, one based on saving and nurturing our resources or the extractive industries that 95 percent go out of the local economy?” she said.
“If you adversely affect water supply, that’s bad for the economy. Water is life. The law does not make the watershed a watershed. If a place functions as a watershed and it supplies water to a community, then don’t mine there,” she said.
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