Green groups mourn passing of ex-DENR chief Gina Lopez
Members of the Alyansa Tigil Mina (ATM), along with other green groups, are deeply saddened with the demise of ex-Environment Secretary Gina Lopez, a well-known environmentalist and anti-mining advocate.
“She was a bastion of environmental activism, and a source of hope and inspiration for many communities and organizations that had the opportunity to work and be served by her. She will be sorely missed,” ATM said in a statement.
“ATM knows very well the passion and dedication mam Gina brought with her in fighting for the rights of mining-affected communities, and for challenging the powerful mining industry because of the latter’s environmental destruction and non-compliance with our environmental laws,” it added.
ATM said that for ten months as Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Secretary, Lopez did the “unthinkable”, ordering the conduct of a mine audit, cancelling the mining contracts or suspending the operations of 26 mining projects and issuing new policies that ensure the mining industry is up to international standards on transparency and disclosures.
“That she was rejected by the powerful Commission on Appointments does not mean she is not fit to be DENR Secretary. It only shows that the tentacles of corporate interests and corrupt agenda of politicians still how a commanding sway in our government,” ATM said.
“A labor leader reminded us today that it is rare to have an oligarch wage a battle against her own class. This reflects how clear the mission was to her,” they further said.
Lopez passed away on Monday due to multiple organ failure. She was 65.