The nomination of Environment Secretary Gina Lopez will “definitely” be bypassed by the Commission on Appointments (CA), Senator Manny Pacquiao said Thursday.
“Definitely, maba-bypass…The President would have to re-appoint [her],” Pacquiao told reporters in an interview.
“Kasi aalis siya. We urged her to stay but she [has] committed already [to] the appointment. We cannot stop her,” he added.
Pacquiao is the chairman of the CA committee on environment, which heard 23 oppositors against the appointment of Lopez in just two hearings.
Lopez’s nomination has been met by strong opposition due to her tough stand against mining. Last month, she ordered the closure of 23 mines following a review, prompting Malacañang to intervene.
The CA committee will hold on Tuesday, March 14, a caucus, to discuss Lopez’s nomination as DENR chief.
Lopez will be in the US by then for a retreat.
Her appointment will be considered bypassed if the CA fails to come up with a decision before Congress adjourns session on March 18.
San Juan City Rep. Ronaldo Zamora, a member of the CA, said the arguments presented by the oppositors have enough basis.
“Nakita niyo naman na yung mga nandito, hindi nagsisinungaling yan kaya importanteng matanong kung yung mga concerns ba nila nasagot ba ni Secretary Lopez,” Zamora said.
“Yung mga trabahong mawawala, yung income na wala talaga kasi isasara yung hanapbuhay nila, yun ba ay mapapalitan ng isang green economy, isang sistema na aasa sila sa ecotourism?” he added.
Zamora’s elder brother, Manuel Zamora Jr., is the chairman of Nickel Asia Corp., the country’s largest nickel miner. —KBK, GMA News