Tributes pour for ‘rare ally,’ environment defender Gina Lopez

Features Philippines Aug 23, 2019 at 4:20 pm

Aug23-Sept12-2019_top-storyBy JANESS ANN J. ELLAO

MANILA – Progressive groups have expressed their deepest condolences over the death of environmental defender and philanthropist Gina Lopez, who, in her stint as cabinet secretary on the environment acted with urgency against destructive mining and social justice.

“Generations of indigenous peoples have defended ancestral lands against the encroachment of large-scale mines and other forms of development aggression, but the concentrated power, wealth, and resources of big business and their allied politicians have made it an uphill struggle. Gina Lopez was a rare ally,” said indigenous peoples group Sandugo.

Lopez served as environment secretary under President Rodrigo Duterte. She pushed for a moratorium of large-scale mining operations. She remained resolute in her stand, despite being ganged up on by lawmakers during her appointment hearings.

Before stepping into the mainstream philanthropy work, Lopez served as a missionary for nearly two decades, working among the poor of Portugal, India, and Africa. She returned to the Philippines and headed several of ABS-CBN’s service oriented groups.

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