- President-elect Rodrigo Duterte offered the DENR post to Gina Lopez of ABS-CBN Foundation
- Lopez is an active advocate for the environment and had anti-mining campaigns in the past
- Lopez has yet to announce her decision to the offer
President-elect Rodrigo Duterte offered the highest post for the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) to Gina Lopez; ABS-CBN Lingkod Kapamilya Foundation chairperson and daughter of late ABS-CBN chairman emeritus Eugenio Lopez Jr.
“I offered the position of the DENR to Ms Gina Lopez,” said Duterte in a video released by state-run broadcasting station Radio TV Malacañang (RTVM).
The video was taken in the presidential guesthouse on Monday, June 20, and was released to the media on the evening of the same date.
Duterte initially offered the DENR post to the progressive Left but changed his mind as he considered the DENR post a critical one.
“I just wanted to give him some ideas, then he offered the position. Nagulat na nga ako eh. Sabi ko, ‘Sir, alam mo magiging controversial ako’,” she told ABS-CBN News in an interview.
[I just wanted to give him some ideas, then he offered the position. I was surprised. I said ‘Sir, you know choosing me will be controversial.’]
“I have to mull over it. If anything, to have someone like him offer someone like me a position like that shows you the kind of person that he is,” she added
An active advocate for the environment and known for her anti-mining advocacy, Lopez has previously campaigned against coal mining in Semirara Island, Antique and also spearheaded her foundation’s efforts to clean up the Pasig River and has supported eco-tourism efforts in various parts of the country, as per an article published by Rappler.
Lopez was one of the vocal supporters of Duterte during the campaign period, and said with or without the DENR offer, she will be supporting the Duterte administration.
“But I want to say that whether I am in DENR or not, I will give my 100 percent support to this very good man and who I think the best President that the country may ever have,” Lopez said.
Lopez is seriously considering the post but has yet to announce her decision.