Gina Lopez dies at 65; Palace mourns her demise

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FOR­MER En­vi­ron­ment sec­re­tary Regina Paz “Gina” Lopez, 65, has passed away af­ter bat­tling brain cancer.

Her demise on Monday, Au­gust 19, was con­firmed by me­dia out­let ABS-CBN News in a state­ment.

Lopez, an en­vi­ron­men­tal­ist, was ap­pointed by Pres­i­dent Rodrigo Duterte as head of the Depart­ment of En­vi­ron­ment and Nat­u­ral Re­sources (DENR) in June 2016.

The Com­mis­sion on Ap­point­ments, how­ever, re­jected her ad in­terim ap­point­ment as En­vi­ron­ment chief in May 2017.

She had also served as long-time chair­per­son of ABS-CBN Foun­da­tion Inc.

In a sep­a­rate state­ment, Mala­cañang of­fered its sym­pa­thies and con­do­lences to the Lopez fam­ily.

Pres­i­den­tial Spokesper­son Sal­vador Panelo said the Palace “deeply grieves” the pass­ing of Duterte’s “most pas­sion­ate Cab­i­net mem­ber whose en­vi­ron­men­tal ad­vo­cacy and legacy re­mains un­par­al­leled to this day.”

“News has reached the Office of the Pres­i­dent that for­mer Sec­re­tary of En­vi­ron­ment and Nat­u­ral Re­sources Regina Paz L. Lopez has passed, and it is with a heavy heart that we ex­press our sin­cer­est con­do­lences to her fam­ily, rel­a­tives, friends and loved ones,” he said.

“She would be greatly missed,” Panelo added.

Panelo ac­knowl­edged that Lopez “took the bull by the horns when she fiercely fought pow­er­ful interests in the min­ing sec­tor, as well as in in­dus­tries having neg­a­tive ef­fect on our ecol­ogy.” “As we pay trib­ute and give honor to this war­rior and ad­vo­cate, we fer­vently pray for the Almighty to grant her eter­nal re­pose. May the per­pet­ual light shine upon her,” the Palace of­fi­cial said./

(File photo)

GINA Lopez

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