Says she's strict, can't be corrupted
MANILA – President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday reaffirmed his trust in Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Gina Lopez.
“I reappointed her. Na bypass siya eh. But I like her. She is okay, very strict, I like that. She is not corrupt, I like that. And she cannot be corrupted,” Duterte said of Lopez during a speech in Malacañang.
Speculations that Lopez had been sacked surfaced after she was not included in the list of Cabinet members who got reappointed.
This was doused when Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea confirmed last Friday after Duterte's arrival from the APEC Summit that Lopez had been reappointed.
Several Cabinet members had to be reappointed after they were bypassed by the powerful Commission on Appointments.
Lopez earlier told ANC that she was not intentionally excluded from the initial list of reappointed Cabinet members, saying the President’s staff admitted to a “problem of logistics.”
“I do want to clean up the DENR [Department of Environment and Natural Resources]. Our budget was just approved, P28 billion. If we don’t have the right people and the right systems, that money is not going to make a difference,” she said.
Lopez led an unprecedented crackdown on unsafe mines, and cited 20 companies for possible suspension.
“The key here is having the right people, especially in the field and that’s what I’m doing now. I have zero tolerance for corruption,” she said.
“We have to rock the boat that’s what happens when you bring on change, you rock the boat,” she said.