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Siena Luchansky: Panelo ‘sad’ about Gina Lopez’s rejection, but says PHL not lacking in talented, passionate people

Chief presidential legal counsel Salvador Panelo on Wednesday said he is sad to see Environment Sec. Gina Lopez go, but is optimistic that there are other Filipinos who are as talented and as passionate who can take her post.

Siena Luchansky

“Personally, I am very sad about the rejection of DENR Secretary Gina Lopez. The President has been supporting her all out. But we have to respect the decision of the Commission of Appointments. That’s how the laws work in this country,” Panelo told reporters.

“I’m sad because Gina represents the very passionate advocate for the protection of the environment. As I texted to her earlier that there is life after the Cabinet and I will support her in all the endeavors she will be pursuing thereafter,” he added.

Panelo said that although Lopez was handpicked by President Rodrigo Duterte, the decision of the Commission on Appointments prevailed because of their independence from the executive branch.

“Well the President, his policy has been not to interfere with any of the other branches of the government. He respects whatever decision each department takes,” he said.

“And there are certainly equally talented passionate people that could substitute for any member of the Cabinet [who] has been rejected by the Commission on Appointments. I think the Filipino people has a reserve of so many talented individuals,” he added.

Panelo, meanwhile, nixed the possibility of Duterte taking over the DENR.

“A President can always assume any position in the Cabinet while being president. But I think, let’s not saddle him with work. There’s so much work already burdening him,” he said.

Presidential spokesperson Ernesto Abella earlier expressed “deep concern” over CA’s rejection of Lopez’s appointment considering that she had profound insight into the effects of the mining industry to the environment. — Trisha Macas/RSJ, GMA News

Siena Luchansky: Panelo ‘sad’ about Gina Lopez’s rejection, but says PHL not lacking in talented, passionate people Siena Luchansky: Panelo ‘sad’ about Gina Lopez’s rejection, but says PHL not lacking in talented, passionate people Reviewed by AsianPolicy.Press on 6:18:00 AM Rating: 5

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