Gina Lopez, mining, and sashimi

"Pwede kayong kumain ng sashimi," the managing director of ABS-CBN Foundation said, purportedly suggesting alternative food for mining-affected communities.
MANILA, Philippines – Marie Antoinette, is that you?

No, it’s Gina Lopez. Well, she did not say “Let them eat cake,” an infamous quote that the wife of King Louis XVI supposedly told farmers amid a famine in 18th-century France.

Pwede kayong kumain ng sashimi,” (You can eat sashimi) was Lopez’s version in a video posted on Youtube purportedly suggesting alternative food for mining-affected communities.

Magdala kayo ng soy sauce, wasabe, at chopsticks. Alam niyo ba yan?” Lopez was caught asking in the video.
Lopez also said, “Sa isip ko yung ‘glamping’ puwede dito (Manicani). That’s what you call ‘glamping’. What’s ‘glamping’? Glamor camping. Nakikita nyo ba yan? Tent yan. Tent,” supposedly suggesting an alternative livelihood for mining.
(I think ‘glamping’ is appropriate in Manicani. Glamping means glamor camping. Do you see that? It’s a tent.)
Chuvaness blogged about the 2 Youtube videos of the managing director of ABS-CBN Foundation and convenor of the Save Palawan Movement speaking to a group of protesters in Manicani Island in Guiuan, Eastern Samar. 
Reacting to the video post, Lopez on Saturday and Sunday, March 3 and March 4, posted the following on Twitter:
Mining bullies

On Friday, March 2, Lopez figured in a heated exchange with businessman Manuel V Pangilinan in a forum dominated by players in the mining industry.

To some, it appeared as though industry players in the forum ganged up on Lopez.  

First, Gerard Brimo, president and CEO of Nickel Mining, reacted to Lopez’s presentation, saying that she does not know what she was talking about.

During her talk, Lopez said, “You know I love you, Gerry, but mining is bad for the environment.” 

Meanwhile, lawyer Lorna Kapunan, counsel of West Tower residents, took a swipe at Lopez over the involvement of Lopez-owned companies in last year’s oil leak which led to the closure of the condominium in Makati City. 

“The whole underlying principle of this whole convention is corporate responsibility, whether you are in the mining industry, whether you are FPIC (First Philippine Industrial Corp), and that is the challenge to you Gina, find out the truth,” Kapunan said.

But according to Lopez, her family “is currently spending hundreds of millions of pesos to fix the unfortunate accident.” 

Also on Twitter, Lopez found allies who either defended her or supported her cause. 

To mine or not to mine?

Twitter also served as an alternative parallel event to mining critics who were not invited to the mining forum at the InterContinental Hotel in Manila initiated by the business sector.

The Rappler-introduced hashtag #whymining surged into top trending topics in the Philippines and worldwide as ideas on how to address the mining issue clashed.


For the existing mining contracts in the Philippines, view this #WhyMining map.

How does mining affect you? Are you pro or against mining? Engage, discuss & take a stand! Visit Rappler’s #WhyMining microsite for the latest stories on issues affecting the mining sector. Join the conversation by emailing your views on the issue.

For other views on mining, read:

Yes to Mining No to Mining

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