PMCJ condemns CA on Gina Lopez Rejection: “You betrayed the people!”

MANILA, Philippines - The Philippine Movement for Climate Justice (PMCJ) condemns the decision of the Commission of Appointments (CA) to terminate its deliberation on Gina Lopez’s confirmation as the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Secretary. With a vote of 13-11, environment warrior Gina Lopez failed to convince the CA members to continue her crusade to protect the environment and the people against irresponsible corporations.

PMCJ condems CA on Gina Lopez Rejection: “You betrayed the people!”
Photo Credit: Facebook/Gina Lopez

“This decision of the Commission of Appointments is a disservice to our people. The 13 members of the CA who rejected Gina Lopez should be held accountable for siding with the business and corporate interests who make billions of money in the destruction of our planet and suffering of our people.” said Ian Rivera, National Coordinator of PMCJ.

Meanwhile, coal-affected communities have already expressed their frustration on CA’s decision. “Pinatay nila ang pag-asa ng mga mahihirap at ng mamamayan. Si Gina Lopez lamang ang nagpakita ng tapang laban sa mga kapitalista at malalaking kumpanya na ‘yan. Hindi lang mahihirap ang kanilang iniwan sa laban ng kapaligiran at hustisya, pati ang taumbayan,” said Fr. Warren Puno, Priest-In-Charge, Desk on Environmental Concern of the Diocese of Lucena.

“If the Duterte administration has a strong commitment to provide a positive change in the DENR and in the lives of the people affected by different environmental abuses, it could have led to Lopez’s appointment,” Fr. Puno added.

Different climate justice groups and communities held a vigil at Boy Scout Circle at 6 pm today to express their condemnation for betraying the rights, environment and future of the people. “We lost the battle but we will not lose the war. This is just a continuation of a much bigger fight. Success fully lies on us now and we will continue to mobilize our communities to hold this government accountable for the long standing reforms they have failed to give the people,” Rivera added.

The Rejection of Gina is a Rejection of Change

Yeb Saño, Executive Director of Greenpeace Southeast Asia, said:

“The rejection of Gina Lopez is a rejection of change. Her rejection as DENR Secretary by the Commission on Appointments is very disappointing and worrying, and shows how destructive industries continue to hold Philippine lawmakers by their necks."

Meanwhile, Lopez will continue to fight for the environment: "Let's all keep the flame burning for the environment, for the Filipino people. I love you all. Today is a sad day for the environment but we keep going."

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