The rise and fall of Regina Lopez, the Philippines’ maverick environment minister
And all the while, during her 10 months in the post Lopez planted bamboo to clear the nation’s waters of pollution, and invested in environmental restoration projects that produced new jobs for indigenous communities.
“If we kill our land, our water, our air for whatever reason, you kill life.
Lopez was done as environment secretary.
President Duterte said as much when he suggested the vote against Lopez was secured by lawmakers who accepted “lobby money,” a Philippine term for bribes.
Lopez gained prominence as an environmentalist and social activist as the director of the ABS-CBN Foundation.
Duterte was especially vexed by the metal mining industry, which operated with uneven oversight and was tearing up the ground and polluting rivers around Davao City, on Mindanao island, where he’d served as mayor for 22 years.
“The mining people must shape up,” Duterte told a big crowd of supporters two weeks before his meeting with Lopez.
You have to stop.” Five years ago, the chairman of the country’s largest mining company publicly accused Lopez of lying about environmental damage from hard rock mining.
He met with mining executives before election day to issue a warning.
I told him give me one year, maybe two years.