Philippine lawmakers have sacked the nomination of Environment Secretary Regina Lopez Friday. Reuters reports in the Philippines it comes 10 months after she was appointed by President Rodrigo Duterte. A cabinet appointment vote usually can take months after someone takes office. Until the vote is held, an appointee can assume their duties.
Her time spent as environmental secretary has been tumultuous. According to Reuters:
Ms Lopez had in less than 10 months in office ordered the closure of 22 of the country’s 41 operating mines, cancelled 75 contracts for yet-to-be-developed mines and last week banned any future open-pit mining.
Lopez is a hardcore environmentalist and her relations with the company that owns Oceana’s Macraes mine in East Otago have been tenacious at best. The Chamber of Mines is seeking the reversal of her decisions citing a lack of legal basis. Plus also the Chamber alleges Lopez did not make proper consultations prior to making her decisions. Surprisingly, Duterte largely agreed with Lopez’s decisions.
The moral of this story is that this is an example of the heavy handedness of environmentalists given full political power. In this case, Regina Lopez ruled with near dictatorial power ordering mines closed and cancelling mining contracts which probably ruined the lives of hundreds of people. Thankfully she was stopped but her environmentalism was the driving force behind her policies in which she sought to sacrifice the lives of Filippinos to the existence of nature.