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Lopez faces graft charge

Secretary Gina Lopez of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources is facing a graft charge before the Ombudsman for allegedly asking the Department of Energy to give the $100-million power plant service contract to a private company, EcoGlobal Inc., in Zamboanga City.

Speaking for the complainant Viena Tanada, a buinesswoman, Lester Pacua said EI paid for the trip to France for Lopez and her party of five.

Pascua said the Lopez group left for Paris on October 2 or a day before the DoE awarded the renewable energy service contract to EI.

The complainant said that last September 29, EI CEO Jean Philippe Henry issued a letter of guarantee to the French Eembassy in Manila pledging to pay the Lopez party’s “airfare, hotel accommodations, insurance coverage, and travel allowances for the entire duration of their business trip.” (Jun Ramirez)