- Solon shot back at ex-DENR chief for saying he’s beholden to mining magnates
- He said Lopez’s refusal to follow legal processes would’ve embarrassed the president
- He is hoping Duterte appoints another zealous official like Lopez, but who is at the same time mindful of the law
MANILA, Philippines – A day after Gina Lopez accused him of being in the pockets of the mining industry, Sen. Allan Peter Cayetano shot back and said the former environment secretary would’ve embarrassed President Rodrigo Duterte had she been allowed to remain in office.
In a lengthy Facebook post, Cayetano stressed that while he is for responsible mining and respected Lopez’s enthusiasm, he voted against her because her stint showed she failed with the legal processes provided by law.
“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,” he wrote.
“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,” he added. “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.”
At the same time, Cayetano said he hopes the next DENR secretary Duterte appoints would be like Lopez — only more mindful of the law.
“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,” he wrote.