MOCHA BALITA: DENR Secretary Gina Lopez – Mine firms’ closure not political

MANILA, Philippines – Environment Secretary Gina Lopez yesterday said the mining closure order she issued to 23 mining firms has nothing to do with politics.

denr-ctp-mining

“I don’t do things because of politics. I don’t do things because I’ll get confirmed. It’s always for the common good (of the people) that is on my mind,” Lopez said.

She added she is not against mining but just wants people not to suffer.

She denied that due process was not followed when she issued an order regarding the closure of the mining companies for committing environmental violations.

Lopez had said earlier they came out with show cause orders for the mining firms.

“They were given a chance to explain and conduct remediation measures. I even flew in the subject areas but they failed.”

She stressed that they are working with the thrust of social justice in mind.

“We are not concerned with these business interests prompting extractive activities thus, affecting our water supply. Water is life,” Lopez said, referring to those doing activities near or along the watershed.

Last Thursday, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) announced the closure of 23 mining operations in several areas in the country.

The DENR chief said the firms could still appeal the decision before the Office of the President.

“The closure becomes final when the President says it is,” she said.

By Rhodina Villanueva (The Philippine Star) February 7, 2017

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