The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) joins the Filipino people in expressing sadness over the death of Gina Lopez last August 19 at the age of 65. We commiserate with her family, friends and colleagues.
Her passing away is a loss to the Filipino people who considered her a true friend. As an advocate of the cause of protecting the environment, she joined the people in opposing big mining operations which plunder mountains, poison rivers and destroy the land.
As secretary of the environment under the Duterte government, she blazed her way against mining and ordered the closure, suspension or revocation of permits of scores of companies engaged in destructive mining. Her steadfast stand earned the ire of big companies and bureaucrat capitalists. She would eventually lose her job in government because of big mining lobby.
Ms. Lopez was sympathetic to the cause of the national minorities and peasants whom she consider at the forefront of defending the environment. She was also critical of AFP military operations which caused widespread displacement of people and served the interests of mining companies.
Her advocacy and closeness to the people’s cause was especially significant being a scion of the big comprador Lopez clan. She showed herself comfortable being around ordinary people.
Ms. Lopez was also a friend of the revolutionary movement. She once publicly exclaimed “I love the NPAs” after having met NPA fighters in Mindanao in 2017. She discussed her policy against mining operations which she knew the NPA was also against. She discussed prospects for cooperation with the NPA in establishing areas where the environment can be fully protected.
Because of her advocacy and dedication to the cause of the environment and the people whose lives depend on it, Gina Lopez will always be considered a true friend of the Filipino people.