Some politicians have mining links – Lopez

MANILA-- Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Regina Lopez on Thursday alleged that some politicians are "indebted" to mining firms, allowing the industry to "flourish" in the country.

"I mean that's how it is, the governor, the mayor, all over the country. Politicians have mining links. That's why mining has been allowed to flourish," she said during a press briefing in MalacaAang.

She, however, demurred from giving any names, only that some politicians are being supported by mining money.

"Even if you don't have business interest, the fact is, mining money funds political campaigns. But I know that when you are funded by whoever, then you are indebted to that person," the DENR chief said.

"And so what happens is the decisions those people make are, by and large, always in favor of the people who funded their campaign," Lopez said.

The controversial Cabinet official recently ordered the closure of 23 mining firms and suspension of five others operating in watershed areas across the country.

Lopez said she is standing by her orders since she had followed the rule of law every single step of the process and vowed that as long as she is head of the DENR, she would stay true to her advocacies of environment protection and social justice.

"I don't know how long I'm going to last here. You know, my Commission on Appointment (hearing) is coming. If I'm in ABS, I'm just a tree hugger 'di ba? But now, I'm DENR Secretary. So let me use my position now because I don't trust politics. Now that I am still here as DENR Secretary, let me close the mines," she said. (PNA)

Source: Philippines information agency

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