President Rodrigo Duterte backs Secretary Gina Lopez ahead of confirmation hearing.
Duterte urged lawmakers on March 7 to listen to Environment Secretary before they decide on the confirmation of Lopez’s appointment.
He hoped a happy compromise would be struck more on the side of protecting the public interest, as he felt sorry for the destruction wrought by mining on the environment.
In his speech in Malacanang, the president said that we cannot ignore the cries of Lopez.
‘Look at it closely, Lopez would show you how devastated the environment is.’
The mining industry had protested Lopez’s decision to shut down or suspend 28 mines and her threat to cancel up to 75 contracts, saying they were denied due process.
Duterte said the Philippines would face a ‘crisis’ if mining is allowed without controls similar to those in Australia.
Duterte said ‘we have to come up with a code or a set of whatever, protocol, of how to go about controlling mining.
He rejected requests from classmates to talk to Lopez. They wanted Duterte to call Gina but he cannot do it, he said.
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