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Lord Allan Jay Velasco’s wife eyed as new DENR chief

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Having connections to President Rodrigo Duterte can surely make one go places.

Politiko has learned that Gwen Velasco, wife of Marinduque congressman Lord Allan Jay Velasco, is one of the persons shortlisted to replace Environment Secretary-designate Gina Lopez.

Not much is known about Gwen although she and her husband are close to Duterte.

They hosted a simple celebration for the President, his partner Honeylet Avancena and daughter Veronica at their home last Christmas.

The Velascos also joined Duterte on his trip to Thailand in March.

Aside from Gwen Velasco, another personality that has surfaced as a possible replacement for Lopez is lawyer Mark Kristopher Tolentino.

Duterte’s party, the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan, as well as his fraternity, Lex Talionis, has endorsed the appointment of Tolentino to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.

Lopez faces a rough sailing in the CA because of her stringent policies on mining.

At her confirmation hearing Tuesday (May 2), Senator Manny Pacquiao said Lopez has a “50-50 chance” of being confirmed.

Under CA rules, Lopez may no longer be reappointed by Duterte if she fails to hurdle the CA for the third time.