WATCH: Greenpeace activists barricade DENR gate to defend Gina Lopez
MANILA, Philippines – Environmental activists from Greenpeace staged a protest action on Monday, May 8, to call out the Duterte administration for allegedly bowing to big corporate interests.
The activists, led by Greenpeace Southeastasia executive director Yeb Saño, chained themselves to the gates of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in Quezon City. Greenpeace also hung a banner with the words "DENR: Not open for business."
In a Facebook post, Saño wrote: "We need to #RESIST! Fight head on the corporate influence over government that leads to impunity of polluters and the lack of accountability from our politicians."
Today we're blockading the gates of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) to protest the continued control of the Philippine government by big business interests, and as a failure of the current administration to stand by the reforms it is pursuing. #defendDENR #resist #resistoftenPosted by Greenpeace Philippines on Sunday, May 7, 2017
“Big businesses, such as the big mining firms Ms Gina Lopez has confronted during her provisional appointment as DENR Secretary, have gone out of line by rendering our government institutions at their behest," Saño added.
Greenpeace slammed the rejection of DENR secretary Gina Lopez by the powerful Commission on Appointments (CA), calling it a "rejection of change."
On its social media page, Greenpeace called on supporters to sign an online petition asking President Rodrigo Duterte to reappoint Gina Lopez as environment secretary. Once rejected by the CA en banc, a person cannot be reappointed to the same position again.
Saño earlier said the CA was "dominated by politicians with questionable loyalty, some of whom are receiving campaign contributions from various mining interests."
President Duterte also hinted that lobbying money resulted in the votes against Lopez, but did not provide details.
Lopez was widely seen as a firebrand and an ardent critic of big mining companies, which she accussed of damaging the environment.
Members of the CA who voted to reject her appointment expressed their concern that Lopez 'did not follow the rules' as environment secretary. – Rappler.com