Malacañang mourns death of 'warrior' Gina Lopez
MANILA, Philippines – Malacañang, early Monday morning, August 19, said it received news that former environment secretary Gina Lopez has died.
Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo conveyed the condolences from President Rodrigo Duterte's official family in a statement.
"It is with a heavy heart that we express our sincerest condolences to her family, relatives, friends and loved ones," he said.
"The Palace deeply grieves the demise of one of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte's most passionate Cabinet members whose environmental advocacy and legacy remains unparalleled to this day," Panelo continued.
Lopez was Duterte's first environment secretary and someone the President called a "crusader" for the poor against big businesses like mining.
Panelo lauded Lopez for this, recalling how she "took the bull by the horns whe she fiercely fought powerful interests in the mining sector, as well as in industries having negative effect on our ecology," he said.
"She would be greatly missed. As we pay tribute and give honor to this warrior and advocate, we fervently pray for the Almighty to grant her eternal repose. May the perpetual light shine upon her," he continued.
Despite Duterte's repeated public expressions of support for her and her policies at the DENR, Lopez failed to get confirmed by the Commission on Appointments in May 2017.
Duterte's critics said Duterte could have done more to keep Lopez as environment chief. The President eventually said it was "lobby money" from the minimg sector that led to Lopez' CA rejection. – Rappler.com