MANILA- Former Environment Secretary Gina Lopez on Monday welcomed the appointment of former Armed Forces of the Philippine chief of staff and retired general Roy Cimatu as her replacement.
Lopez made the statement as she visited Greenpeace Philippines members who were blocking the gates of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) office in Quezon City to protest her rejection by the Commission on Appointments (CA).
“I welcome the appointment and I look forward to working with him in the sphere of development and he can bring certain abilities to the DENR and we can all work together,” she said.
Though the protesters were shouting “Ayaw namin kay Cimatu!” Lopez urged them to give the retired general a chance, saying she heard that Cimatu was a "good man."
“We will give him a chance. After all, siya ang na-appoint ng presidente,” Lopez said.
Cimatu’s appointment was signed by President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday.
Despite being emotional, Lopez welcomed her successor positively, even joking about Cimatu’s experience in the military.
“I told the president siya na lang maging DENR secretary kasi matapang but he appointed a 4-star general,” she said.
Lopez also expressed hope that Cimatu will be open to working with communist rebels on development projects.
“It is my hope that even though he came from the military, he will be open enough to work with the NPA and I hope he will have the heart to work with the indigenous people,” she said.
During her stint, Lopez expressed interest in working with communist rebels for her green projects. -- report from Miguel Dumaual, ABS-CBN News