Fishers cry over CA rejection of Gina Lopez
Manila, Philippines – “What a sad day for the Filipino fishers, green eco-warriors and environment-loving people. The influence of the big oligarchs with mining interests prevail in the Philippine Senate yesterday over the democratic demand of the people to end large-scale mining activities that pose environmental and socio-economic disaster,”
This was the sentiment of the militant fisherfolk Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA-Pilipinas) on the rejection on the confirmation of Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Secretary Gina Lopez by the Commission on Appointments (CA) in the Philippine Senate yesterday.
Only 8 members of the CA voted to confirm Secretary Lopez while 18 members have rejected.
“It is undeniably the giant local and foreign mining firms that destroy our environment are behind the CA’s rejection on the appointment of Secretary Lopez who want to replace her with a usual inutile Environment Chief that will protect and tolerate their destructive mining activities at the cost of environmental degradation and the livelihood of the people,” Fernando Hicap, PAMALAKAYA Chairperson said in a statement.
PAMALAKAYA said Gina Lopez will always be welcome to work with the people in fighting against giant mines and other destructive corporate activities even outside the Environment Department.
“The turning down of Secretary Lopez is not the end of her advocacy to fight large-scale mines that bring catastrophe to our environment, she can still pursue her advocacy with the people in a different battlefield like in the parliament of the streets through the strong and expanding mass movement,” Hicap said.
Hicap during the support action yesterday at the Senate welcomed Secretary Lopez when she arrived and joined hundreds of progressive organizations supporting her together with Secretaries Taguiwalo and Mariano’s confirmation. ###