Gina Lopez gave life to dreary Cabinet meetings with her passion: Masaya kapag nandoon siya – Panelo
The later Environment Secretary Gina Lopez stayed only for a few months in the Duterte Cabinet after mining firms successfully blocked her confirmation in the Commission on Appointments.
But Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said Lopez always brought with her the feistiness and passion in every Cabinet meeting which she attended and the members could not forget.
“Doon sa Cabinet kasi masaya kapag nandoon siya eh. Talagang with all the passion that one can muster, talagang ganoon siya, talagang bilib kami sa kanya,” said Panelo in an interview with ANC’s Karen Davila.
“She is feisty. Talagang she really advocates environment protection sa Cabinet, sabi ko nga with passion talaga kaya hangang-hanga kami sa kanya,” said Panelo who fondly recalled these memories even though Lopez’s last Cabinet meeting was more than two years ago.
Lopez, 65, died on Monday from multiple organ failure after battling cancer, according to a statement from ABS-CBN.
Panelo said Lopez visited him in his office only two months ago “because he wanted me to fly with her in these places, para makita ko yung mga lugar.”
“You know what I like in her? She is always thinking of how to uplift the status of life of the poor folks. She went to these places and then she even funded them. She came to my office, because she wanted the government to help her advocacy,” he said. SEC. PANELO:
Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar said in a statement: “Gina was one of the original members of the Duterte Cabinet that I had the privilege working closely with, especially during the height of her anti-illegal mining campaign.”
“Gina’s passion to save the world was contagious. She is truly a good maverick and patriot. The world will not be the same without a Gina Lopez,” he added.
Duterte appointed Lopez as Environment Secretary in July 2016 but was rejected by the Commission on Appointments (CA) on May 3, 2017.
During her term, Lopez ordered the closure of over-mining companies as these affected watersheds, and also threatened to ban open-pit mining in the country, a move which did not sit well with the mining industry.
Prior to being Environment chief, Lopez was also long-time chairperson of ABS-CBN Foundation Inc. (AFI). (With a report from PNA)