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Lopez’s junking a betrayal; Duterte should fight rich exploiters – bishops

Ramon-Arguelles

Lipa Archbishop Emeritus Ramon Arguelles. (INQUIRER FILE PHOTO)

MANILA — A retired archbishop called the rejection of Gina Lopez’s appointment as environment secretary as a betrayal of God and of the Filipino people.

Lipa archbishop emeritus Ramon Arguelles also called on the public to “break free from corrupt leaders and dispose of the Judases” of the country.

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The prelate lamented that the refusal of the Commission on Appointments to entrust the Department of Environment and Natural Resources to Lopez “unmasks the kind of leaders we have.”

“They betray God and our people because of self interest. Because of the interest of the abusive few, God’s creation and the environment meant for the common good is further exposed to degradation,” Arguelles said over Church-run Radio Veritas.

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The retired archbishop made the remarks in reaction to the decision of the CA panel to reject Lopez’s appointment on Wednesday following an executive session at the Senate.

The controversial DENR secretary has been facing strong opposition and criticisms after she ordered the closure of 23 mines and the suspension of five others.

“Presidente Duterte should live up to his commitment to defend our country from those who destroy her, to help poor people rise from misery, the true enemies of his ideals aren’t the poor addicts,” he said.

The prelate added: “The rich exploiters of our resources, the real oppressors of our people are around him.”

Surigao bishop Antonieto Cabajog lamented the rejection of Lopez’s appointment as a great loss.

“The law should serve the common good. It’s the spirit of the law we should pursue, not the law itself for its own sake,” he said.

Fr. Augustus Calubaquib, social action director of the Archdiocese of Tuguegarao said that the lawmakers have placed their personal interests above that of the public’s welfare.

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“It’s clear that selfish interest won over the interest of the people to be protected, that is how politics run our country but it doesn’t mean we stop. We continue protecting the environment because it’s our mandate to do so,” he said.

Fr. Guillermo Alorro, social action director of the Diocese of Calbayog, agreed.

“It shows that business interests of a few greedy mining companies … ruled supreme than protecting and preserving our natural environment, thus doing good for the people and protecting their basic right to live a descent life is a misnomer nowadays,” he said.

Meanwhile, Fr. Ernie Larida, social action director of the Diocese of Bacolod, said Lopez was the right person for the job.

“She is the right person for the job. She has the heart needed to save our Mother Earth. So sad but mass action must be maintained on the ground,” he said.  SFM

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TAGS: Antonieto Cabajog, Augustus Calubaquib, Business, Cabinet officials, Catholic bishops, Commission on Appointments, confirmation, Congress, Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Duterte cabinet, environment, Environmental Protection, Ernie Larida, Gina Lopez, government appointment, Guillermo Alorro, loss of government revenues, Mining, mining industry, mining shutdown, Philippine president, Politics, Ramon Arguelles, rejection, Rodrigo Duterte
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