The Philippine Movement for Climate Justice (PMCJ) condemns the decision of the Commission of Appointments (CA) to terminate its deliberation on Gina Lopez’s confirmation as the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Secretary. With a vote of 13-11, environment warrior Gina Lopez failed to convince the CA members to continue her crusade to protect the environment and the people against irresponsible corporations.
“This decision of the Commission of Appointments is a disservice to our people. The 13 members of the CA who rejected Gina Lopez should be held accountable for siding with the business and corporate interests who make billions of money in the destruction of our planet and suffering of our people.” said Ian Rivera, National Coordinator of PMCJ.
Meanwhile, coal-affected communities have already expressed their frustration on CA’s decision. “Pinatay nila ang pag-asa ng mga mahihirap at ng mamamayan. Si Gina Lopez lamang ang nagpakita ng tapang laban sa mga kapitalista at malalaking kumpanya na ‘yan. Hindi lang mahihirap ang kanilang iniwan sa laban ng kapaligiran at hustisya, pati ang taumbayan,” said Fr. Warren Puno, Priest-In-Charge, Desk on Environmental Concern of the Diocese of Lucena.
“If the Duterte administration has a strong commitment to provide a positive change in the DENR and in the lives of the people affected by different environmental abuses, it could have led to Lopez’s appointment,” Fr. Puno added.
Different climate justice groups and communities are set to hold a vigil at Boy Scout Circle at 6 pm yeterday to express their condemnation for betraying the rights, environment and future of the people. “We lost the battle but we will not lose the war. This is just a continuation of a much bigger fight. Success fully lies on us now and we will continue to mobilize our communities to hold this government accountable for the long standing reforms they have failed to give the people,” Rivera added.