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Malacañang mourns demise of former DENR chief Gina Lopez

By: Inquirer.net August 19,2019 - 08:17 AM

MANILA, Philippines – Malacañang on Monday, August 19, 2019, mourned the death of former environment secretary Regina “Gina” Lopez, described as one of the most “passionate” Cabinet members of President Rodrigo Duterte.

“News has reached the Office of the President that former Secretary of Environment and Natural Resources Regina Paz L. Lopez has passed, and it is with a heavy heart that we express our sincerest condolences to her family, relatives, friends and loved ones,” presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo said in a statement.

“The Palace deeply grieves the demise of one of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte’s most passionate Cabinet members whose environmental advocacy and legacy remain unparalleled to this day,” Panelo added.

In a statement, ABS-CBN said Lopez died Monday at the age of 65.

Read: Ex-DENR chief Gina Lopez passes away

The television network said Lopez succumbed to brain cancer.

Duterte appointed Lopez as environment secretary but the environment advocate’s appointment was rejected by the powerful Commission on Appointments.

Lopez faced strong opposition from business groups and even some Cabinet members for her anti-mining stance, even ordering the closure and suspension of some mining operations in the country.

A 1997 International Public Relations Awardee for Excellence for the Environment and the 2009 Outstanding Manilan Awardee for the Environment, Panelo said “Lopez took the bull by the horns when she fiercely fought powerful interests in the mining sector, as well as in industries having negative effect on our ecology.”

“She would be greatly missed,” Panelo said.

“As we pay tribute and give honor to this warrior and advocate, we fervently pray for the Almighty to grant her eternal repose. May the perpetual light shine upon her,” he added. /gsg

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TAGS: Gina Lopez, Malacañang, statement

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