Church exec chides CA rejection of Lopez’s appointment

Church exec chides CA rejection of Lopez’s appointment

Environment Secretary Gina Lopez (left), Archbishop Ramon Arguelles (2nd from right) and other rallyists raise their fists during the “Walk for the Environment” outside the Senate building in Manila on Wednesday, March 1, 2017. FILE PHOTO

MANILA— The lawmakers’ rejection of Gina Lopez’ appointment as environment chief showed that political interests won over public welfare, a Church official said.

Caritas Philippines’ executive secretary Fr. Edwin Gariguez, however, said it was expected since some members of the Commission on Appointments have ties to mining firms.

“The decision is expected, given the powerful lobby of the Chamber of Mines and the vested interest of many politicians who wantonly opted to sacrifice the interest of the environment and the poor over their own agenda,” he said.

The powerful CA on Wednesday rejected the appointment of Lopez as Environment Secretary, who cracked down on mining firms that don’t comply with environmental safety standards.

Lopez earlier ordered the closure of at least 23 mining operations, mostly located in functional watersheds.

The priest earlier said that vested corporate interests would play a big factor in Lopez’s confirmation.

“We need to judge now the CA members and campaign not to reelect those who voted no to environmental reform agenda being pushed by Gina Lopez,” Gariguez said.  CBCPNews