Palace ‘deeply concerned’ with CA’s rejection of Lopez
Malacañang is worried with the rejection of the ad interim appointment of Regina “Gina” Lopez as environment secretary.
“She’s part of the Cabinet and she has already been considered part of the Cabinet and she has contributed a lot of meaningful insights to the Philippine environmental situation and it is with deep concern that the CA (Commission on Appointments) has seen fit to reject her appointment,” Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella said in an ambush interview on Wednesday.
Abella said Lopez “had served the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) well.”
“She had profound insight into the deep damage of the Philippine ecological system caused by the mining industry and came up with innovative solutions to the socio-economic conditions of the affected communities,” he said.
But despite Malacañang’s “deep concern,” Abella said they respect the process of the powerful CA.
“On the other hand, it’s a democratic process and we respect their decision and we would just like to, at this stage, say that we’ll leave it at that,” he said.
In a separate interview, Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo said he was saddened by the rejection of Lopez.
“I am very sad about the rejection of DENR Secretary Gina Lopez. The President has been supporting her all-out,” Panelo said. “I’m sad because Gina represents the very passionate advocate for the protection of the environment.”
He said he sent Lopez a text message, saying that “there is life after the Cabinet” and that he “will support her in all the endeavors she will be pursuing thereafter.”
But like Abella, he said everyone should respect the decision.
“But we have to respect the decision of the Commission of Appointments. That’s how the laws work in this country,” he said.
Asked about the possible appointment of Lopez to another position, Abella said, “That’s a possibility that we don’t know yet.”
The President, he said, was now “attending to the possible replacement” of Lopez.
Lopez was heavily opposed after she ordered the closure of at least 23 mining firms and the suspension of five others. She also earlier cancelled 75 mining contracts. JE
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