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.

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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)

EXPOSED: 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.


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.


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?

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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

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!

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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

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.


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:

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.


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.


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.


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.

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.


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!


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.


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.


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

Gina-gamit at Nagpapagamit: Gina Lopez as the environmental arm of the Lopez Group’s industrial machine

Maria Criselda A. Sarmiento
Professor Carlo Pangilinan
Communication 130
March 29, 2012

The heated encounter between Manny V. Pangilinan and Gina Lopez at the Conference on Mining’s Impact on the Philippine Economy and Ecology had easily seeped out the public, who correspondingly had been quick to take sides. Apparently, had the confrontation occurred between a mining engineer and an environmentalist, for instance, the iconic face-off would not grab much attention, or be left unknown at all; after all, they are both media industry colossi, and a discussion between them on a topic hardly interesting to the general public would be an easy spectacle. The media portrayal of the victim that Gina Lopez has been enjoying in this issue gathered a lot of people into fending for her and her green advocacies; and the general public, as expected, were disposed to favoring the “altruistic” other, in which case, Gina Lopez—the accused liar, the you in Manny V. Pangilinan’s iconic “Now you’re lying!”

This paper discusses Gina Lopez as the environmental and philanthropic arm of the Lopez family. Specifically, it will look into the effectiveness of Gina Lopez as a female environmental partisan—yet barely an environmentalist—of several causes, and, ultimately, as the greenwashing handmaid of the Lopezes.

The Making of Gina Lopez

Born Regina Paz Lopez, Gina Lopez is the daughter of the late media tycoon Eugenio “Geny” Lopez Jr, and the sister of Eugenio “Gabby” Lopez III, the current Chairman and CEO of ABS-CBN. Compared to his brother Gabby, who is “boss” to a lot of people—executives, employees, and actors alike—having been the keen keeper of ABS-CBN’s watchtower after their father’s death, little is known about Gina before she sat as the Executive Director of the ABS- CBN Foundation, Inc. Until her recent encounter with Manny V. Pangilinan, Gina Lopez is most recognized as an active spearhead of some of the Foundation’s core projects, Kapit Bisig Para sa Ilog Pasig, Bayan ni Juan, and Bantay Kalikasan.

The rehabilitation of the La Mesa Watershed is one of the flagships of the ABS-CBN Foundation Inc.’s achievements. In 1999, Save La Mesa Watershed Project was brought afoot by the Foundation’s Bantay Kalikasan, in partnership with the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System. The project’s aim was to restore the deflowered La Mesa Watershed which became a spoiled eco-location due to illegal poaching and logging. Five years after the plan of reforestation, the La Mesa Watershed was reopened to the public, only as Le Mesa Ecopark that charged fifty pesos per head upon admission.


La Mesa Watershed’s five-year restoration was yet another strategic toying, particularly of the Lopezes, to herald and further advance public-private partnership, developing another profitable resource for the family at one end, and extending the myriad of influence of the Lopezes at another. That was one (and another) story. A good Lopez scheme aside, the watershed’s rehabilitation, being an undeniably ambitious a feat, had ultimately benefited Gina Lopez herself, seizing the sole crown as the green thumb Lopez. Precisely a sound image as such was what Gina Lopez needed to redeem her spot in the Lopez family.

On July 4, 1974, the then minor Gina Lopez was voluntarily submitted for rehabilitation by her mother, Conchita Lopez, to Pasig Criminal Court for drug addiction. Gina was accommodated to the Dare Foundation Inc. on the same day. After two months, on September 13, 1974, the Court directed two doctors from the U.E.R.M Memorial Hospital to do a thorough medical examination on Gina Lopez and determine if there had been a progress on Gina’s drug dependency and/or personality disorder. But Gina, “probably sensing that she would be examined by [the] doctors, escaped from the Dare Foundation, Inc.” (Supreme Court Manila, 1975) and had remained at large for some time.


It was rather logical for the Lopez family to obscure this sensitive case of Gina Lopez’s drug addiction and/or personality disorder from the public. Clearly, it would be an embarrassment for the prominent family, and further an easy trigger for public distrust—a possibility that might have defiled not only the family, but also ABS-CBN, in the event of its disclosure; but, all the same, like any other incidents of doubt, might easily be rewon by the family and the corporation with their tested and proven spellbinding mechanics.

Now, Gina Lopez takes delight on the sympathy and support for her advocacies, whether work-demanded or personal, especially on the movement No 2 Mining in Palawan—with the number to replaced to “2,” most probably to incorporate ABS-CBN Channel 2 in this struggle.

On a personal level, that is the ego of the Lopez family, Gina’s role as the environmental and philanthropic member of the family is a conscious attempt of the Lopezes to fashion Gina as a member of the Lopez family, and therefore a person of moral excellence and a person responsive of the society. A clever maneuver of the Lopezes, Gina’s branding (or re- branding) as the benevolent eco-warrior demonstrates one of the great powers of the media tyrants. Such premeditated step of the Lopez family is one of their many measures of, as Marcuse (1968) well put, “authoritarian identification of person and function.” As a result, the Lopezes got themselves safe to criticisms, particularly against Gina Lopez’s credibility and merits.

True enough, a history ignored is a history forgotten. The tactical concealment of Gina’s drug dependency record has mainly rewritten a history of Gina Lopez as a public figure; but it has also put the family to a safe harbor. Gina, a product of the infamous Lopez tentacles, accordingly, has gained an easy if not perfect reception from the public, who knows nothing but the trimmed Gina:

[T]he irresistible output of the entertainment and information industry carry with them prescribed attitudes and habits, certain intellectual and emotional reactions which bind the consumers more (…) pleasantly to the producers and, through the latter, to the whole. The products indoctrinate and manipulate; they promote a false consciousness which is immune against its falsehood… (Marcuse, 1968)

It is without doubt that the Lopezes are successful in making Gina’s history of once being a dark horse in the family evaporates elsewhere. But their apparent winning of public consciousness does not stop there. Where they have also gotten ahead is in establishing, an eco- warrior Gina Lopez. Such is apparent in the recent confrontation of Gina Lopez against Manny V. Pangilinan.

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The public perceived the confrontation between the two media personalities to be particularly a pro-versus-anti-mining debate between a capitalist and an environmental advocate—who, ironically, is also a capitalist. As a matter of fact, Gina was just ineloquently responding to Manny Pangilinan’s statement about mining sites that are not physically viable to be developed for touristic purposes. It was clear that her only point was that not all mining sites are “ugly,” as in the case of Sibuyan; and she ended it by saying “I really think you need to go and visit (Sibuyan).”

The public’s generalization (of the myth) that it was an exchange specifically about banning of mining in the country is a product of the Lopez’s forging of Gina Lopez as an environmental advocate, and Gina’s activities as an environmental advocate—which is evidently a conception (or ideology at large) at work and working as the public have made out the image of an environmentalist Gina, whereby “[giving] us the consciousness of our incessant (…) practice of ideological recognition.” (Althusser, 1971) Having that said, it is not surprising that almost every act of Gina Lopez would be intentionally or unintentionally associated to environmentalism as they have made in us “always-already subjects” (Althusser, 1971).

The greenwashing handmaid

Delmas & Burbano (2011) simply defined greenwashing as “the act of misleading consumers regarding the environmental practices of a company (firm-level greenwashing) or the environmental benefits of a product or service (product-level greenwashing).” It came from the roots of what a Madison advertising executive, Jerry Mander. called “ecopornography”, when a sudden impulse for environmentalism occurred in the 1960s. Corporations leveraged on the increasing popularity of environmentalism and explicitly used it as an approval for their corporations’ or products image through advertising (Lybecker & Black, 2008).

There are two ways in which a firm may be involved in greenwashing; and such happen simultaneously. A firm is greenwashing when it exhibits poor environmental performance while pursuing public relations in the form of positive communication on its environmental performance (Lybecker & Black, 2008).

In 2011, the local government of Bulusan passed a resolution to strengthen its opposition on the geothermal energy exploration project pushed by the Department of Energy (DOE). DOE saw the Bulusan Volcano Natural Park (BVNP) as a viable source of some 40 megawatts of geothermal power after a five-year exploration and construction activities. The local government of Bulusan was quick to oppose this activity by passing a resolution against geothermal energy exploration in the municipality. The plan calls for a pre-development and development stage which would necessitate drilling of exploratory wells deep to the earth’s core, clearing of the forest, and construction of geothermal plants, power turbines, and toxic waste tailing ponds. This project is a service contract, the Geothermal Resource Energy Service Contract (GRESCO), of DOE to the SKI Construction Group Inc. SKI is a fully-owned subsidiary of the First Philippine Holdings Corporation of the Lopez Group.

The Save Mount Kanlaon Coalition and some Negros environmentalists share the same sentiment as the Bulusan people and local governments. The geothermal project of the National Negros Geothermal Power Plant (NNGPP) is accounted for the cutting down of thousands of tress, direction drilling underground, and displacement of the wild flora and fauna with the contamination of the waterways. The NNGGP is fully operated by the Energy Development Corporation that is owned by the Lopez family.

The aforementioned First Philippine Holdings Corporation, owned by the Lopez Group, is the same corporation that owns 67% of First Gen Corporation as the former’s arm for power generation and energy related transactions. The latter owns 60% of First Gas Power Corporation or FGPC. It is FGPC that holds and operates the Santa Rita power plant in Batangas, a combined-cycle natural gas-fired power plant. The power plant utilizes gas supplied by the Malampaya Gas Field in Northwest Palawan. Under a contract with Siemens AG called Engineering Procurement and Construction, the Santa Rita power plant supplies fuel with the Malampaya consortium to Shell, Chevron Texaco and the Philippine National Oil Company. The consortium extracts natural gas from the Malampaya field in conformance to the 1990 North West Palawan Service Contract No. 38 with the government. Santa Rita power plant also provides electricity to MERALCO pursuant to the terms of the 25-year Power Purchase Agreement (PPA). The Lopez Family also owns 13.4% stake in MERALCO.


The former Rockwell power plant exited with a toxic pond of waste which was channeled to Barangay San Joaquin in Pasig City to develop the high-end mall The Rockwell Center in Makati City. A 15-hectare land, Rockwell serves as a commercial and residential compound. With the softening of the soil of the Marikina Valley, the toxic waste that was transferred and buried in a compound of MERALCO is possible to leak to the Pasig River which is located only 25 meters away from the compound.


It is nonsensical to say that the participation of the Lopez Group in these incidents of environmental destruction is a mere coincidence. The Lopez Group owns and co-owns a number of energy- and power-related corporations whose some projects involve tie-ins with the government.

In the issue of the toxic waste left by the Rockwell Power Plant, one may find it ironic that the possible leaking involves the contamination of Pasig River as one of its consequences; when it is the same river that Gina Lopez hopes to clean in the Foundation’s Kapit Bisig Para Sa Ilog Pasig. It also appears ironical how Gina Lopez ardently fights for the mining in Palawan when it is already deflowered by the First Philippine Holdings Corporation, a corporate holding of the Lopez Group.

Gina Lopez’ green advocacies are not enkindled by incidental guilt, so to speak, and are not in any way aimed to offset the family’s massive environmental wipeout.  Gina Lopez in her “green revolution” is the very tool of the Lopezes’ greenwashing.

Althusser (1971) says that an “ideological state apparatus certainly has the dominant role, although hardly anyone lends an ear to hear its music.” Precisely this definition makes a perfect fit for greenwashing because greenwashing itself is a contemporary example of ideological state apparatus.

Greenwashing, as it was mentioned, works twofold: corporation’s environmental abuse and positive propaganda. Such is true to the case of the Lopezes as they grant themselves means to incessantly exploit the country’s resources for their economic gain, while, not only silencing it in the sheer presence of Gina Lopez, but also putting up a good front as a corporation with environmental values. As Althusser (1971) claims, “all ideological state apparatuses, whatever they are, contribute to the same result: the reproduction of the relations of the production, i.e. of capitalist relations of exploitation.”

The ironic advocacies of Gina Lopez are generally not an irony, nor are they coincidences. Gina Lopez is deliberately positioned to work on those particular premises to conceal the family’s corruption of the country’s ecosystem. The projects and advocacies of Gina Lopez are premeditated to make the greenwashing more effective. A television viewer who sees a spot in the television where Gina Lopez ardently forwards the No 2 Mining in Palawan movement would not suspect (or expect) that the main exploiters of Palawan are the Lopezes themselves. Ideological state apparatus is apparently at work.

The patriarchal nature of the Lopezes’ ideological state apparatus is also visible. The role of Gina Lopez as the “agent of exploitation” who functions in “human relations,” (Akthusser, 1971) particularly in her environmental and philanthropic pursuit relates to her being a woman. Nowhere is the patriarchal praxis of the Lopez family more evident in the general organizational structure of the Lopez Group whose top executives are mostly men. But the predominance of men as executives is not the only manifestation of the family’s patriarchy: ABS-CBN Foundation that Gina Lopez herself leads as the Foundation’s Executive Director is composed of mostly women executives, namely Jocelyn Saw, Mariles Gonzales, Girlie Aragon, and Tina Monzon-Palma. Only Marlo Mendoza is the male member of the executive core. Now, how does this make a sign of patriarchy?

According to Warren (1996), “historical and causal links between the dominations of women and of nature are located in conceptual structures of domination and in the way women and nature have been conceptualized.” Therefore, it is not surprising that the social norms about sexuality would tend to situate women in environmental and philanthropic causes, in which case, Gina Lopez’s appointment as the head of the ABS-CBN Foundation and the prevalence of women executives in the Foundation because, in the first place, the purpose the organization serve is more feminine than masculine.

Furthermore, the prevalence of men in the workplace, as evident in the Lopez Group organizational structure, and Gina Lopez’s headship for environmental and philanthropic causes and not in the energy-resource sector clearly exhibits the Lopezes ‟notion of patriarchy, acknowledging men as the objective, [thus] scientific.” (Salleh in Warren, 1996)

Now it makes more sense why the Lopez family intended Gina Lopez to be their environmental arm: because a female environmental advocate is more relatable and believable in a society that has integrated the concept of caring and environment in womanhood in general.

Gina Lopez afloat in the unreal

It is not the relationship between the advocacies of Gina Lopez and the exploitation of the Lopez Group that is ironically coincidental. Gina Lopez herself is the irony in this wide ideological schema.

For a capitalist, environment is just a venue for exploitation. As Marx (1992) put it, “It is as clear as noon-day, which man, by his industry, changes the forms of the materials furnished by Nature, in such a way as to make them useful to him.” Therefore, environmentalism and capitalism are mutually exclusive.

It is a mere understatement that the Lopezes are capitalist. If there is a degree of capitalism, the Lopezes would rate at the peak level; but since there is none, and the term “capitalist” falls short in describing the monopolist family. The Lopezes and suchlike hereafter is called the “nasty capitalist”.


Gina Lopez comes from a nasty capitalist family. At the same time, she is an environmental advocate who is often mistaken as a (true blue) “environmentalist”. Such precisely is the irony behind Gina Lopez herself. It is rather unacceptable to posit Gina Lopez as both “environmentalist” and nasty capitalist as environmental and capitalist pursuit cannot coexist. One has to be fraud to affirm the other: the nasty capitalist runs in Gina Lopez’s blood. Unless she oust herself as a member of the family and undertake other endeavor (that is non-capitalist in nature), she remains to be a nasty capitalist. Following this analogy, Gina Lopez is not an

“environmentalist” but a pretentious one. Her green advocacy, however, may be probable and actually more believable if it is the Lopezes—perhaps the nastiest capitalist in the country—that she contends and topples down first.

Apart from greenwashing, Gina Lopez’s green pursuits may also be explained by incorporation, that is, the “process by which the dominant classes take elements of resistance (…) and use them to maintain the status quo, rather than to challenge it.” (Fiske, 1990) Therefore it is logical for the capitalists to incorporate resistant movements such as environmentalism to the manipulative system. However, it had been asserted that capitalism and environmentalism can never coexist. Thus, the capitalists make up other forms of pseudo-incorporation such as greenwashing.

It is a terror to read Gina Lopez’s opposition against mining, and ultimately, to accept her as an environmental advocate, much less an environmentalist. Environmentalism is the greatest antithesis of capitalism. It is either Gina Lopez admits that her presence is schizophrenic, a distortion of reality—her being the antithesis of herself, or acknowledge the fact that she is being used by the family who once discredited her.


Althusser, L. (1971). Lenin and Philosophy and Other Essays. New York: Monthly Review Press.
Delmas, M. A., & Burbano, V. C. (2011). The Drivers of Greenwashing. California Management Review.
Fiske, J. (1990). Introduction to Communication Studies (2nd ed.). Routledge.
Lybecker, D. L., & Black, B. (2008). Great debates in American environmental history. Great debates in American environmental history.
Marcuse, H. (1968). One Dimensional Man. London: Sphere.
Marx, K. (1867). The Process of Production of Capital. (B. Fowkes, Trans.) Moscow: Progress Publishers.
Supreme Court Manila. (1975, October 31). G.R. No. L-38850 November 28, 1975. Retrieved March 27, 2012, from The Lawphil Project:
Warren, K. J. (1996). Ecological Feminist Philosophies. Indiana University Press.

Mining in the Philippines: the Gina Lopez effect.

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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