“WHO SUFFERS if you kill the environment? It’s the poor. And whose duty is it to protect our people? It’s the government. And when you make decisions based on business interests, you have shirked your responsibility. You have lost the moral ascendancy to rule the government because, to you, business and money are more important than the welfare of our people.”
The valedictory of Gina Lopez, at her March 3, 2017 rejection by the Commission on Appointments as secretary of the Department of the Environment and Natural Resources has come to haunt the nation in the wake of successive typhoons Pepito, Quinta, super-strong Rolly, Siony, and ultra–devastating Ulysses.
Now everybody weeps, hailing the prescience, if not the prophetic vision, of the dearly lamented Gina.
Even more precise was Lopez when she warned in Sept. 2017: “It is important that we rehabilitate this watershed because it is the first line of defense of Marikina, Quezon City, Antipolo, Pasig, Cainta, San Mateo, etc., against rainwater surging from the uplands of Luzon.”
Furthering: “As long as there is quarrying there and the Marikina Watershed is denuded, the Pasig River water will be brown and it will become more and more shallow, and it will cause flooding in Metro Manila. It is imperative that the Marikina Watershed is reforested.”
In remembering Lopez, let us not forget the Chamber of Mines of the Philippines which vehemently opposed Lopez’s appointment, thanking profusely the CA for rejecting her, hailing it as “the “beginning of a new chapter for the mining industry.”
“We reiterate our commitment to work with the DENR and the next Secretary to protect the environment and promote the responsible use of our natural resources,” the group of miners declared at that time.
New chapter indeed, ushering the Apocalypse.
So, who were the legislators that voted for the rejection of Lopez?
If only to appease the Furies, someone or some people have got to be lynched.