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Love for nature

People who have a love for nature should be admired and supported, especially if they are willing to fight if needed to express their passion for the environment.

One such person is Environment Secretary Gina Lopez who has shut down the operation of at least 23 errant mining firms. This earned her the ire of the mining industry and the Chamber of Mines that branded her unfit and unqualified to occupy the Cabinet position.

Just last week, Lopez was grilled once again during the hearing of the bicameral Commission on Appointments (CA).

A congressman and official of the CA committee on environment and natural resources revealed that he was not satisfied with the replies given by Lopez to questions and criticisms against her during the hearing.

However, many people could not place their trust fully on this congressman’s statements knowing that his brother is the owner of one of the most successful mining companies in the world.

Lopez told the congressman: “That’s your brother’s mine… Because Sir, you know they’ve been mining this for 20 years, and the mountain was really big and the mountain got small, and that’s not legal at all, you’ve totally killed the mountain. Tell your brother he totally killed the mountain.”

As of this writing, her confirmation remains in Limbo.

But for her undying passion towards nature, no less than President Duterte has given his full support to the environmental advocate.

Can anyone blame the President? Duterte admitted having seen the denuded mountains and deep holes created by abusive mining businesses.

In a speech in Baguio City, Duterte said that even if mining contributes R70 billion to the government coffers, we can live without it. The President would rather follow Gina and get that amount somewhere else to preserve the environment.

Let’s stop kidding each other. It’s an open secret that some congressmen are directly involved or have benefited from mining, with some firms being owned by their family member or relative.

Members of the CA who have links to mining should inhibit from placing their votes during Lopez’s confirmation hearing.

Firing Line has faith in what Lopez is doing. She truly believes in what she is fighting for – Mother Earth. Her passion to protect Nature and the future of our children is undeniable. Filipinos should support her.

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SHORT BURSTS. For comments or reactions, email firingline@ymail.com or tweet @Side_View. Read current and past issues of this column at http://www.tempo.com.ph/category/opinion/firing-line/ (Robert B. Roque, Jr.)