AFP mourns passing of ex-DENR chief

MANILA -- The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) joined the family of former Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Secretary Regina Paz "Gina" Lopez in mourning after she succumbed to brain cancer Monday.

"The Armed Forces of the Philippines joins the Lopezes and the environment and children loving Filipinos in this moment of bereavement for the untimely demise of Ms. Regina Paz 'Gina' Lopez," AFP chief-of-staff, Gen. Benjamin Madrigal, Jr., said in a message to reporters.

Lopez, 65, was also the chairperson of the ABS-CBN Foundation Inc. (AFI).

"We have been partners in the vigorous pursuit of her many advocacies and charity works," the AFP chief added.

Despite her death, Madrigal said the AFP will continue to be inspired by the former DENR chief's aspirations for clean environment and safe and protected children.

"Isang pagpupugay mula sa Kawal Pilipino (A salute from the Filipino soldier)," he said.

Lopez received the 1997 International Public Relations Award for Excellence for the Environment and the 2009 Outstanding Manilan Award for the Environment.

In a separate statement, the Philippine National Police (PNP) expressed grief over the demise of the former DENR chief.

"The PNP expresses its deepest and most sincere condolences to the family, friends and relatives. Her various advocacies and gentle soul will forever remain in our hearts. She will continue to be an inspiration as the PNP pursues its core values of makaDiyos, makabayan, makatao, at makakalikasan," PNP spokesperson, Brig. Gen. Bernard Banac said.

Banac also said the police force is honored to have worked with Lopes in "enforcing environmental laws, particularly against destructive mining activities", despite her short stint as a government official. (PNA)

Source: Philippines News Agency

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