The Lopezes are making sure the odds are stacked in their favor

It seems like the Lopezes are ready for whatever outcome. Sigurista talaga. We’re wondering if the administration knows about this.

Lopez-Magdalo (1).jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Lopezes are savvy businessmen. They know how to take care of their assets. One of the ways they protect their businesses is to hinge their bets on winning politicians. They campaigned for PNoy. They campaigned for Grace Poe and Mar Roxas when both were frontrunners in the last elections. Now that Digong has won, they fielded one of their own for a government position in the person of Gina Lopez.

But what is this? One of the Lopezes, Ernie Lopez of ABS-CBN Publishing and a major player in the family business is seen bonding with one of Duterte’s fiercest critic, Senator Antonio Trillanes.

It seems like the Lopezes are ready for whatever outcome. Sigurista talaga. We’re wondering if the administration knows about this.

Pumaplano-ng-Impeachment (1)

http://www.philintheblank.org/special-coverage/lopezes-making-sure-odds-stacked-favor/

Advertisements

EXPOSED: Sugal ng mga Lopez, tumaya sa Magdalo!

http://www.philintheblank.org/special-coverage/sugal-ng-mga-lopez-tumaya-sa-magdalo/

Talagang doble-kara ang pamilya ni Gina Lopez. Sama-sama po nating ipaabot sa ating mahal na Tatay Digong ang pagtatraydor sa kanya ng mga Lopez.

Lopez-Magdalo.jpg

Talagang mga tusong negosyante ang mga Lopez. Alam na alam nila kung papaanong poprotektahan ang kanilang kayamanan at mga ari-arian. Isa sa kanilang mga pamamaraan ang pagtaya sa mga liyamadong politiko. Tingnan ninyo ito: Ikinampanya nila si PNoy at nangampanya rin sila para kina Grace Poe at Mar Roxas nang frontrunners pa ang dalawa sa nakaraang eleksiyon. Ngayong nanalo na si Tatay Digong, itinanim naman nila sa isang puwesto sa gobyerno ang isang kadugo nila sa katauhan ni Gina Lopez.

Pero anong kababalaghan ito? Isa sa mga Lopez – si Ernie Lopez ng ABS-CBN Publishing at isang major player sa negosyo ng pamilya – ang nakita kamakailan na nakikipag-bonding kasama ang numero unong kritiko ni Tatay Digong na si Senator Antonio Trillanes at pati ang naghain ng impeachment complaint laban sa ating mahal na Pangulo na si Magdalo Congressman Gary Alejano. Kasama rin pala sa litrato ang dating Magdalo solon na si Ace Asedillo.

Ang sabi ay kinunan ang litrato (kung saan makikitang enjoy na enjoy sina Ernie Lopez, Trillanes, Alejano, at Asedillo) ilang linggo bago ihain ni Alejano ang impeachment complaint.

Talagang doble-kara ang pamilya ni Gina Lopez. Isipin ninyo, nakikipagsabwatan sila sa Magdalo para pabagsakin ang ating Tatay Digong. Segurista talaga ang mga Lopez. Anuman ang maging outcome, kailangang nandoon sila.

Kung si Senator Leila De Lima ay sumabit noon sa litrato nila ni Kerwin Espinosa, ang litrato namang ito ang tuluyang magpapagsak kay Gina at sa kanyang pamilya.

Pumaplano-ng-Impeachment

Sama-sama po nating ipaabot sa ating mahal na Tatay Digong ang pagtatraydor sa kanya ng mga Lopez.

Is Gina Lopez advocating for the environment or just using the DENR for business interest?

The debate on the mining issue has elevated to the point of dividing the nation. While many are applauding environmental crusader Gina Lopez for bravely standing up and closing down mining giants to supposedly ‘save the environment,’ the same number may have only been led to believe that the DENR designate is indeed for the environment. So here is our question. Is Gina Lopez advocating for the environment or just using the DENR for business interest?

We must first look at the kind of business her family is into. Lopez Group of Companies’ is engaged in so many line of business from Media and Telecommunications, Power and Energy, Power Generation, Power Distribution, Real Estate, Infrastructure and Manufacturing. You might be wondering is a true die hard environmentalist will be ok on such line of business. 3.pngLet’s see, First Balfour formerly First Philippine Holding according to its website, it was ‘responsible for the site grading and site improvement works for TSI Davao Coal-fired Power Plant. The 300 MW Coal-fired Power Plant of the Aboitiz Group.’ Coal-fired Power Plant you say? Is that bad?

download (17).png

According to Union of Concerned Scientists, “Coal plants are primary cause of global warming and a typical coal plant generates 3.5 million tons of CO2 per year.” It also said, “Burning coal is also a leading cause of smog, acid rain, and toxic air pollution.”

And to top it all to obtain coal it has to be mined! The process is by extracting coal from underground or open-pit mines. Does that sound too environment friendly to you?

Strip_coal_mining

Strip coal mining

Another of the Lopez’s latest money maker is the NPC Gas Pipeline Facility for the 1200MW Ilijan Combined Cycle Power Plant. We need not to elaborate just recall the issue of the Lopez family-owned First Philippine Industrial Corporation (FPIC) which leaked 700,000 liter of gas in the area surrounding the West Tower Condominium in Barangay Bangkal in Makati. That was a newsmaker in 2012!

west tower.jpg

There are actually so many on our list but we can always give Gina Lopez the benefit of doubt that perhaps all those are already part of history and as secretary of the DENR she is bent on doing her job. Is that really the case? Are you familiar with quarrying?

cornerstone-quarrying-960x332

Cornerstone Quarrying

Quarrying definition, an excavation or open-pit, usually open to the air, from which building stone, slate, or the like, is obtained by cutting, blasting, etc. So what is it to her? Well, to Gina Lopez quarrying since needed is ok regardless of the effects on the environment. Besides, family business is into infrastructure and it must not be affected at all cost. Just check out her Memorandum Order dated March 10, 2017.

17309315_129499834245542_4886488816406762660_n.jpg

Let us ask the question again. Is Gina Lopez advocating for the environment or just using the DENR for business interest? By now you know the answer. Tell everyone because like you, they don’t know they are being used for business interest.


Join Stand FIRM! Filipinos for the Institution of Responsible Mining

  • What are we?

We are a coalition advocating the practice of responsible mining in the Philippines

  • Who are we?

Stand FIRM is made up of students, professionals, people from all walks of life who believe in responsible mining and its benefits

  • Why did we come to be?

The arrival of the new regime and its new appointees reinforced the importance of correcting the myths and misconceptions about the industry more than ever before.

  • When and where did we start?

The coalition was officially launched on August 5, 2016 at Davao City

See more at: https://sway.com/GRZ87ME8Z1qOnuci

Gina Lopez, binigyan ng bilyong pisong kontrata ng sariling pamilya

GINAGAMIT ni Environment Secretary Gina Lopez ang kanyang puwesto sa administrasyon para tumabo ng pera ang kompanya na pag-aari ng kanyang pamilya.

The-Lopez-Oligarchs

Ito ay matapos niyang bigyan nitong January lang ng environment compliance certificate (ECC) ang Green Core Geothermal Inc. na maitayo ang Tongonan Geothermal Power Project in Barangay Lim-ao, Kananga, Leyte kasabay ng kanyang pagpapasara o pagsuspinde sa operasyon ng mga kakompetensiyang kompanya.

Kapalit ng pagkakamal ng kita ng Green Core Geothermal Inc. ay litaw na litaw ang bias at conflict of interest sa parte ni Sec. Lopez at ito ang dapat mabatid ng mga mambabatas na uupo sa confirmation ng kalihim sa March 1.

Ang takot ng marami ay hindi magagampanan nang ganap ni Sec. Lopez ang kanyang tungkulin kapag ganito lalo’t ang Lopez family ay involved sa energy sector.

Ang tanong tuloy ngayon ay paano niya bibigyan ng patas na hatol ang mga environment catastrophe kapag sangkot na ang energy business ng mga Lopez tulad 2010 FPIC pipeline na sumira sa West Tower Condominium.

Ang geothermal power plant ng mga Lopez na kompleto sa auxiliary systems at 138-kilovolt substation ay nakatayo sa mahigit 14 ektarya ng bundok at inaasahang makalilikha ng 123 megawatts.

Maaaring imbestigahan ng publiko ang inisyung ECC pabor sa Green Core Geothermal Inc. sa tanggapan ng Environmental Management Bureau na pirmado ng isang Jacqueline Caancan — ang officer-in-charge ng tanggapan — gamit ang otoridad o by the authority ni Lopez.

Link to original

Gina Lopez’s History of Drug Dependency and Personality Disorder

Gina Lopez is not only a spoiled brat, she is also a former drug addict. Maybe it would be in everyone’s best interest if she finishes her rehabilitation!

Gina Lopez is not only a spoiled brat, she is also a former drug addict. She was committed to a drug rehabilitation facility by her own mother. She fled the facility knowing that a medical examination would be made to properly diagnose her drug dependence and personality disorder.

G.R.-No.-L-38850-November-28-1975.jpg

This bit of history is important, moreso in her role as DENR Secretary. It is highly likely that Lopez has channeled her energy away from drug addiction to a new-found passion–it would soon become apparent to everyone that this was her advocacy in protecting the environment.

It is common for recovering addicts to commit themselves to a higher purpose, submitting themselves to something bigger than them. It is a necessary step in their fight against their own demons.

Image1.jpg

The problem of course is that government institutions are not rehab facilities. They are not personal churches. They are not a universe you can re-arrange just so they can revolve around you.

Perhaps it would be best if Lopez would subject herself to medical professionals for a proper diagnosis. If you are to be responsible for the death of an industry that mean so much to many communities let alone a nation’s economy, we deserve to know if you are not, in fact, unhinged.

Better yet, maybe it would be in everyone’s best interest if she finishes her rehabilitation in the proper facilities.

http://www.philintheblank.org/special-coverage/gina-lopez-drug-addict/

Charade for Greed: The Lopez Family Genes

Without doubt, Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) head Gina Lopez has a new found popularity as the new environmental hero. As of posting, her Facebook page alone has 309,600 likes with a stunning 112,655 new page likes that is a whopping 161.2% spike. The spike is common to those political promotion pages where likes are ‘bought’ to make an impression that the page is quite ‘popular’. Are the “likes” even real in the first place?  In today’s highly competitive digital marketing world, automated and fictitious accounts, more known in the industry as “bots” or robots in common language are behind those “likes”.  In other words, these are automated programs run by the computer or by a human with multiple accounts used for “liking” and “sharing” pages and accounts to make the page or post appear legitimately liked by real people, when in fact paid trolls are behind it.  We can only speculate if the well protected oligarchy that supposedly fights for freedom of expression has plans for a Senate seat in the near future. Or even perhaps the presidency, besides her social media stardom can have an impact should she ever run for a higher seat.

download-3

With this popularity comes people’s appreciation for her staunch hard-line approach. So the question that begs to be asked is, how much of an environmental advocate really is Gina Lopez?  Is Gina Lopez really the selfless “Mother Teresa of Mother Nature” she and her family’s media conglomerate all true or just a ruse to hide the fact that she is instead the successor to her late grandfather, the former vice president’s true legacy of using her government position to benefit her family’s greedy interest in the environment?

Let’s backtrack a bit and see how the Lopez clan came into power.  From a simple mayor of a provincial city, Lopez quickly rose in the national political scene by becoming senator then later vice president to Elpidio Quirino, then later to Ferdinand Marcos.  Shortly after winning the 1965 elections, the Lopez-owned Meralco began eating up the competition around its base of operation until it had complete monopoly of the power distribution.  So it comes as no surprise that Meralco’s revenue from P5 million in 1962 quickly shot up to P69 million before the end of the decade.  During the same period, Meralco’s assets grew from P155 million to P1.037 billion.  The break with the Marcoses happened when the late dictator said that the Lopezes were asking for more concessions to advance their businesses, one of them is the granting of a permit to exclusively operate a geothermal plant in Manila.  The Lopezes say Marcos wants more slice of their family’s corporate pie.  Whoever was telling the truth no one knows. But here is one truth to the story.  After the Marcoses left the country in 1986, the Lopezes was back again in the power generation and distribution business. That geothermal plant in Batangas?  That is now the BacMan Geothermal Power Plant operated by the Lopez family’s Energy Development Corporation (EDC)

Contrary to popular belief, the Lopezes are bad with managing their business, so bad they need the help of the crook Ferdinand Marcos to save their company from bankruptcy.  That’s right.  There are documentary evidence to prove that the Lopezes “appealed” to the dictator for the government to take over Meralco because of the imminent bankruptcy the power distribution company was facing. Former Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile, then the defense minister of Marcos said he has copies of the letter to prove that it is not true that the “martial law government (forcibly) took over Meralco.”  Enrile said he posseses, among other documents, two letters from the late Vice President Fernando Lopez, offering to sell Meralco to Marcos. The first letter was dated Feb. 19, 1973, while the second was written on March 20, 1973.

But after 1986, we all know what happened.  The Cory Aquino government handed over Meralco to the Lopezes as if like taking a candy from a baby.  The Lopezes did not shell out a single centavo to reclaim Meralco, all because of a lie perpetrated by the Lopezes that Meralco was forcibly taken from them by the martial law regime.

These family has a knack of getting free stuff. If there is such a thing as a free lunch, the Lopezes are good at it.  When is it that whenever the Senate investigates the behest loans of beleaguered state-owned Development Bank of the Philippines, senators would quickly make the classic pivot when questions centered on the behest loans of the sinking Lopez companies like BayanTel and SkyCable?  That is P1.6B worth of bad loans was written off by DBP without any explanation!  This family must have an endless supply of “Get Out of Jail Free” Monopoly cards!

32095773

This probably is the genetic makeup of one Regina Paz L. Lopez. For instance, in 2012 alone, Gina was under fire when indigenous tribes from Sabsaban Falls in Barangay  Aribungos, Palawan protested her family’s plans to construct a tourism park by forcibly taking ancestral lands and cutting trees to pave way for the project. Yes you read it right, cutting trees!

The Lopez response then is somewhat familiar today, ‘she wanted to save the area from the ravages of mining companies by converting it into a biodiversity school’ aka ecotourism spot.

Early the same year, ABS-CBN Foundation executive director Gina Lopez led environment groups in asking Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales to look into the Palawan Council for Sustainable Development (PCSD) mining-related decisions, which led to the destruction of Palawan’s forests and watersheds.

Then House of Representatives Vice Chair of the Committee on Natural Resources Teddy Brawner-Baguilat said the right words that Lopez should have been more consistent in her advocacy that, “there should be no double standard here.”
How is it that when Ms. Gina Lopez cancels ECCs left and right, suddenly, like a thief in the night, the DENR issues an Environment Compliance Certificate to the Green Core Geothermal, Inc.’s Tongonan Geothermal Power Project in Barangay Lim-ao, Kananga, Leyte?  Green Core is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Lopez family’s Energy Development Corporation.

2-1

Is Gina Lopez really the crusader for the poor and the environment or just fulfilling what is being dictated to her by her genetic programming and honouring her family tradition?  That by securing a family in political power in order to benefit the family interest?

The Philippines is once again being played under a great charade to feed the insatiable greed of an oligarchy.

References:

http://www.philstar.com/headlines/176968/i-have-papers-proving-meralco-was-legally-sold-gov%C2%92t-enrile

http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/208231/tribals-to-gina-lopez-keep-off-our-land

http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/231181/raps-pushed-vs-denr-exec-in-palawan

http://opinion.inquirer.net/16769/dbp-wrote-off-p1-6b-in-loans-to-lopez-group

An Anarchy of Families: State and Family in the Philippines by Alfred W. McCoy, copyright 1993

Mining in the Philippines: the Gina Lopez effect.

Link to original

I am from the Philippines, a tropical country truly known for its beautiful islands, great beaches, rich biodiversity, and vast mineral resources. Undoubtedly, it is a paradise on the planet – a wonderful escape from the stressful artificial world our modern society has created. However, thou shall not be fooled, the country is not purely forests and seas; cities are everywhere, lots of them, with unprecedented population growth. And poverty has been the daily scenario for lots of my people, especially in the rural areas.

So, our population is growing tremendously; hence, the greater demand for resources, which include food, water, energy, metals, and minerals. I believe this is not an isolated case, but pretty much what the world is experiencing right now: endless demand from growing (which seems an understatement) population. And remember, our planet is just one, that makes these resources limited, very limited.

Therefore, it is high time to observe our demands, but I doubt that human beings are capable of that – limiting what they can use, consume, and purchase. Perhaps, we can pursue a more circular economy in which we can reuse and recycle most, if not all, the materials, which in turn could make the use of our resources more efficient. But still, the demand is getting higher especially that the most parts of the world is becoming more developed; and that efficiency could not cope up with that. So, if cutting demand and efficient resource management seem not the way to go, perhaps, the answer lies in population. Note, the longevity of human life is also increasing. It is a truly complex scenario, which needs the focus and strength of all nations to gather together and come up with a working solution.

Anyway, back in the Philippines, I do not think that the unconfirmed [yet (?)] Secretary Gina Lopez of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has fully grasped the complexity of the above-mentioned scenario of the present world. I bet that humans in this modern society, like those in the metros of the Philippines, cannot live without one of those resources such as metals and minerals. However, Sec. Lopez, in her persuading tone, asked the people, “Food or Mining?”

It is a false dichotomy. All industries are connected in one way or another, thus one cannot stand alone without the other. If Filipinos choose food over mining, then where will we get the other resources we need, especially the metals and minerals? Should it be from the deserts of Australia, the tropics of Central Africa or Brazil, frozen lands of Canada, etc.? And note, we only have one planet, and as much as possible, we should do our part. They are campaigning against mining for it destroys the environment, but as long as they have demands for materials, mining would not stop. If it cannot be grown, it has to be mined; however, to grow something nowadays, we need the help of materials from mines. Should we not campaign against our own greed, our own demands?

Back to Sec. Lopez, she has ordered the closure of significant number of mines in the past month, and cancelled several mining projects in study phase. She said that the recommendations of her team for those mining companies, which were penalties, were not enough to compensate the environmental effects these mines have made. She said that these mines are sitting in a watershed, which she defined as: “A watershed is a watershed because it is a watershed.” I am really not sure if these mines are really sitting in a watershed, but in the Philippine mining law, even mines can operate in a watershed as long as it is not a proclaimed watershed.

Further, photos of open pit Ni-laterite mines have then circulated the social media. It has been proclaimed that mining of lateritic soil caused the redness of the surrounding main bodies of water. Well, in my opinion, with or without mining such natural soils could cause the coloration after a rainfall. But, mining still has an effect, unless there are engineering measures like siltation ponds to control the flow of silts (from the mines) into the main waters. But, DENR showed these photos without a balanced explanation of the scenario, putting a bad label to the whole mining industry, and making Filipinos more misinformed.

To be honest, Sec. Lopez if you will read this, mining is by definition a destructive activity but it has stages, i.e. from prospecting, exploration, technical studies, design and engineering, … to exploitation … to rehabilitation. Those dots comprised of several stages, and it seems DENR only focuses on the exploitation part and not thinking of the latter stages like rehabilitation. If any project is cut in the middle, there is no way it could continue to do the last part.

The effects of such actions, the Gina Lopez effect, are not only felt locally, but internationally as well. Locally, people working in the mines are now left empty-handed. Most of those closed mines are in rural areas, which means that there are not much available jobs in one dash. Moreover, for the overnight environmentalists, the operations were stopped, hence the rehabilitation part will not be done most likely unless the department or the government will fund it. Mining investors confidence plummeted, giving a darker shade for the future of mining and mineral industry in the country. Internationally, since Philippines is one of the top producers of nickel, the price has increased which favors other previously uneconomical nickel projects, and nickel producers. Also, Philippines can now be tagged as not the place to go to do mining business especially if this continues. Geopolitically, Philippines will have much less to leverage to other powerful countries.

Well, I would say that there really exist bad mining activities in Philippines, which are mostly small-scale mines. And with these recent actions, it did not solve the greater problem; worse, it did hurt the people, the industry, the economy, and potentially worsened the scenario I have described above. It is not a black and white scenario. The growing population and its demand are still there. Mining activities only cover almost negligible portion of Philippine’s economic land as compared to taht covered by rapid urbanization like construction of roads, subdivisions, mall, etc.

DENR should focus more on the unregulated ones, and support the manageable ones. Moreover, unfortunately, with the rise of alternative facts (actually from the department) and rejecting the ideas from the engineers and experts, it seems that this government is pushing its own future geoscientists, environmental scientists, mining, and metallurgical engineers away from the country. And when the time comes that this country pushes for industrialization, I wonder where it will get all the expertise and knowledge to do so. Because for one, the backbone of industrialization is mining.

Dan Oliric Manaig, MSc

LLM Candidate in Oil, Gas and Mining Law