It’s been days since we were all shocked about the votes of President Duterte’s allies contributing to the rejection of Gina Lopez as DENR secretary by the Commission on Appointments. This time, Senator Cayetano broke his silence.
Read his full statement below:
Greetings from Geneva!I will always decide on what is right and not what is popular.
I’m not surprised to see so much support and so much opposition to the voting of the C.A. re DENR Secretary Nominee Gina Lopez. I thank those who are open minded and asking why? I’m not surprised that Sec.Gina and her group will go so low as to cast aspersions on why I voted the way I did and even accuse me of being in the pockets of the mining industry.
Since the 2007 campaign my stand on responsible mining and the strictest,highest standards for industries that affect the environment has been consistent.
At the time of the voting, I felt that for me to explain my vote at that time would be like rubbing salt in a wound, because I would have to enumerate all the reasons why she is not fit to be DENR secretary. I felt it would be cruel to reject then put her down.
Yet she now singles me out when a vast majority of the CA voted to reject (after giving her a year to prove herself) her appointment.Click to Watch Video Below:
I want to clarify that I gave Ms. Lopez enough chances to dispel fears that she would not observe the legal process in regulating the mining industry. I supported her in closing down mining sites that were not compliant with the highest standards. Moreover, illegal mining and logging continue to proliferate,while other sectors that need both strict regulation continue to destroy the environment.
Unfortunately, the Secretary was adamant in defending her illegal actions. If she had carried on with her mindset, it would have embarrassed the Duterte Administration sooner or later. She would have placed the administration in a predicament that would be hard to defend.
I respect Ms. Lopez’s passion as an advocate for the environment, but she fails to understand that she cannot arrogate unto herself Constitutional powers reserved exclusively for Congress.
Many officials have invoked good intentions when they violated our anti-graft and corruption laws, and President Rodrigo Duterte was left with no choice but to terminate them. Ms. Lopez’s recent acts already bordered along these lines. Going by her unwillingness to comply with institutional processes, she is not fit to head the DENR. She would have embarrassed the President in no time.
We are all for alleviating poverty and the strict enforcement of our laws, but we cannot and should not do so by being whimsical in imposing regulations that violate Constitutional processes.
I hope that the President will appoint another Ms. Lopez with the same zeal, yet still mindful of the requisite that one must be faithful to the mandate and dictates of our laws and processes.