Gina Lopez’ term as environment secretary lasted only ten months after mining interests lobbied against her. (Rappler)

Former environment secretary Gina Lopez dies

(3rd UPDATE) Philanthropist and environmental champion Gina Lopez was 65

Published 6:43 AM, August 19, 2019
Updated 12:38 PM, August 19, 2019

ENVIRONMENTAL CHAMPION. Former environment secretary Gina Lopez led a crackdown on erring mining companies during her 10-month stint in the Duterte Cabinet. Photo from the Facebook page of Gina Lopez

ENVIRONMENTAL CHAMPION. Former environment secretary Gina Lopez led a crackdown on erring mining companies during her 10-month stint in the Duterte Cabinet. Photo from the Facebook page of Gina Lopez

MANILA, Philippines (3rd UPDATE) – Former environment secretary Regina Paz “Gina” L. Lopez has died. She was 65.

The feisty anti-mining advocate, seen as one of the “bright lights” of the Duterte Cabinet during her less than a year in government, died after a long bout with brain cancer.

Lopez served as President Rodrigo Duterte’s first environment secretary for 10 months, or until May 2017, after the Commission on Appointments rejected her appointment – a decision hailed by mining companies and condemned by environmental groups.

 

During her brief stint as environment chief, Lopez rocked the mining industry by issuing orders that were true to her promise of cracking down on companies that violate environmental laws. (READ: What drives Gina Lopez?)

Lopez was also long-time chairperson of ABS-CBN Foundation Inc (AFI).

In a statement, ABS-CBN said, “Gina was the pillar of strength that pushed AFI to achieve what seemed to be impossible. Her caring heart and selfless kind of love inspired people within and beyond the organization to help and serve others.”

It also said that with the passing of Lopez, “we lost a fervent advocate of children’s rights and protection, a passionate proponent of sustainable livelihood among the underprivileged, and an unswerving champion for environment preservation.”