Palace on CA rejection of Gina Lopez: 'It's a democratic process'
MANILA, Philippines – Malacañang said on Wednesday, May 3, that it respects the decision of the Commission on Appointments to reject the ad-interim appointment of Environment Secretary Gina Lopez.
"It is with deep concern that the CA has seen fit to reject her appointment. On the other hand, it's a democratic process and we respect their decision," Presidential Spokesman Ernesto Abella said in an interview with reporters on Wednesday.
Abella lauded Lopez' contributions during her 10-month stint as environment chief.
"She has contributed a lot of meaningful insights into the environment and the Philippine environmental situation," he said.
During her watch, Lopez anchored her policies on social justice, as she ordered the suspension and closure of 28 mining operations, which are under review by the Mining Industry Coordinating Council (MICC).
She also issued a department order banning "prospective" open pit mines.
Next DENR chief
Abella could not say who Duterte will appoint as new environment secretary but said he believed the President was choosing from "many names."
Duterte publicly supported Lopez after the CA earlier bypassed her appointment. He lauded her for being "pro-poor."
The President even pleaded with the CA to hear her out as they deliberate on her appointment.
But some in his Cabinet, including Finance Secretary Sonny Dominguez, had issues with how Lopez handled the mine suspensions.
Lopez is the second Cabinet appointee of President Rodrigo Duterte to be rejected by the powerful CA, after former Foreign Secretary Perfecto Yasay Jr.
A CA rejection is rare in Philippine history. Lopez is only the 4th presidential appointee to be rejected by the powerful body since the end of the Marcos dictatorship in 1986.
Before the Duterte administration, those rejected were Ramon del Rosario, who served as finance secretary of then president Fidel Ramos; and Ricardo Saludo, Civil Service Commission chairman appointed by then president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. – Rappler.com