Confirmation of endorsed secretaries, important for peace talk – BAYAN

admin   •   May 3, 2017   •   2805

MANILA – Different groups expressed their support for the confirmation of secretaries Judy Taguiwalo of DSWD, Rafael Mariano of DAR and Gina Lopez of DENR.

For his part, Renato Reyes of BAYAN believes the three Cabinet members must be confirmed for the sake of the peace talks between the government and the National Democratic Front (NDF).

Reyes said the NDF endorsed Mariano and Taguiwalo when President Rodrigo Duterte took office.

Reyes stressed that among the issues that may be included in the peace talks are the free land distribution under DAR,  the needs of the poor under DSWD, and even DENR’s program that seeks to protect the environment.

“Kaya po mahalaga ang pananatili nila. Definitely mahalaga ang kanilang pananatili sa posisyon nila in relation to the on-going peace negotiations,” Reyes said.

(Being in position, their presence is indeed important in relation to the on-going peace negotiations.)

“For the past 16 years binabalewala kami ng previous administrations even ng DSWD na pinagtatrabahunan namin. Ngayon lang sa pagupo ni Sec. Judy talagang naramdaman naming yung kanyang concern,” Federation of Solo Parents in LUZVIMIN Carri Javier said.

(We were neglected for the past 16 years by previous administrations, even DSWD’s administration to where we served. It is only under Sec. Taguiwalo that we are able to feel her concern.)

“Sa Commission on Appointments, noon kayo ang humihingi ng tulong sa aming mga magsasaka at manggagawa dapat bumoto kayo kay Ka Paeng,” Florida Sibaya Ambala said.

(To the Commission on Appointments, before you were the ones asking for help from us farmers and workers [now] you vote for Ka Paeng.)

“The positive and environmental reforms being taken by this progressive official have not only benefited out people but also our environment,” Kalikasan Peoples Network for the Environment Enteng Bautista said.

Taguiwalo and Mariano will face the Commission on Appointments today, while the hearing for Lopez’ confirmation will continue.

“Si President Duterte nakita nya may tapang siya bigyan natin ng puwang sa gobyerno ang matagal na tumitindig para sa mahihirap,” Sec. Taguiwalo said. (President Duterte has the courage to give any government seat to those who stand for the poor.)

Sec. Mariano said, “Sa tuwinang ako ay mag-uupdate kay Presidente Duterte kaugnay nung mga ginagawa at gagawin pa ng DAR partikular sa Hacienda Luisita isa lang ang kanyang laging sagot – ‘I support you,’

(Every time I give updates to the President regarding the programs and proposals for DAR, particularly those concerns the Hacienda Luisita, he only has one response : ‘I support you.’) — Rey Pelayo | UNTV News & Rescue

Senators mourn the passing of ex-DENR Sec. Gina Lopez

Robie de Guzman   •   August 19, 2019

Gina Lopez

MANILA, Philippines – Senators on Monday mourned the passing of former Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Secretary Gina Lopez.

In a statement, Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go said he is deeply saddened by the passing of Lopez, whom he called a “fearless advocate and a tireless philanthropist,” who dedicated “most her life for the betterment of her fellow Filipinos.”

Go added that Lopez’s “exceptional” dedication to protecting the environment has “no equal today.”

“I had the honor of working with her when she was the environment secretary of the Duterte Administration. As a former colleague in the government, I know how passionate, dedicated and humble she was as a public servant and as an Earth warrior,” he said in a statement.

“Ma’am Gina, taos-pusong pasasalamat po sa inyong hindi napapantayang serbisyo sa kapwa Pilipino. Isa kang katangi-tanging modelo ng tunay na pagmamalasakit sa kapwa tao. May your legacy continue for generations to come,” he added.

Senator Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel also expressed condolences and sympathies to the family and friends of the late DENR chief. He described Lopez as “a famous philanthropist and staunch children’s rights advocate.”

“I am saddened by the demise of such a great public servant and environmentalist as Gina Lopez. She will truly be remembered for her advocacies and contributions in the service of Filipinos,” Pimentel said.

“As the Filipinos mourn the untimely death of former Secretary Lopez, we also pray that her legacy lives on in every person and community her good heart has touched,” Pimentel added.

READ: Former DENR Secretary Gina Lopez dies at 65

Lopez passed away on Monday. She succumbed to multiple organ failure after battling brain cancer.

Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri recalled Lopez’s many efforts to preserve the environment and helping the aggrieved sectors of society especially poor children.

“Being the chief of the Pasig River Rehabilitation Commission is just one of the many tasks she carried out well as part of our government. She brought her environmental activism into every Filipino home in her travels around our beautiful archipelago,” he said in a statement.

Zubiri also expressed admiration for Lopez’s causes and for her grace and sublime courage with which she faced the pains of her sickness.

“She walked her talk, be it in defense of helpless children or displaced communities, or in nursing back to life polluted waters or ravaged forests,” he said.

“While in government, her habit of speaking the inconvenient truth to power was actually a strength, and not a character flaw in a bureaucracy straitjacketed by niceties. Though her stint was cut short, Gina was a great ‘secretary of defense of our natural resources’,” he added.

Senator Francis Pangilinan also said many will remember the late environmentalist as “a woman of courage” and a “firebrand,” who pushed for her environmental and child protection advocacies without fear and hesitation.

“She was all that. In or out of government, her life was about tireless creativity for all our collective future, through our children and our environment,” he added.

Senator Sonny Angara likewise paid tribute to Lopez, describing her as a “one-person green warrior” who took her “selfless” fight for environment protection to “where it matters.”

“She spent a lifetime pouring her considerable talents in bringing to the mainstream the powerless and the voiceless who exist forgotten in the margins of society. She fought for children who were incapable of seeking justice and care for themselves and eloquently spoke for the people in the communities whose voices have been crushed by exploitation,” Angara said.

“She was a one-person green warrior who took the fight to where it matters – in boardrooms, chatrooms, government offices, and in her favorite office – out in the open, under a forest canopy or underwater, where she was in her element with people she loved in a country she never gave up hope on,” he added.

Angara also stated that Lopez’s passing has “left us a bucket list to comply with and follow.”

Senator Grace Poe, meanwhile, thanked Lopez for her efforts to protect the environment.

“Sec. Gina Lopez came in our midst and taught us love for mankind and the environment, our common home. Thank you for touching our lives in your impassioned way,” Poe said in a statement.

Former DENR Sec Gina Lopez dies at 65

Maris Federez   •   August 19, 2019

Former DENR Secretary Gina Lopez

Former environment and natural resources secretary Gina Lopez died on Monday after battling brain cancer. She was 65.

Lopez was known for being a staunch children’s right champion, as well as, her advocacy in caring for the environment.

Lopez was known for her work in rehabilitating the Pasig River and La Mesa Watershed.

She was also instrumental for the shutting down of mining operations found to have violated environmental laws.

As a children’s rights advocate, Lopez founded the Bantay Bata 163, where cases of child abuse can be reported.

Funeral services for the former secretary is still to be announced.

Manhunt launched vs. former Makabayan solons Casiño, Ocampo, Masa, Mariano

Marje Pelayo   •   July 30, 2018

QUEZON CITY, Philippines – The Philippine National Police (PNP) Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) is now tracking the whereabouts of former Makabayan lawmakers Satur Ocampo, Teddy Casiño, Liza Maza and Rafael Mariano and three others.

This after the Palayan City Nueva Ecija Regional Trial Court Branch 40 issued warrants of arrest against them in connection with murder cases filed 12 years ago.

PNP Chief Oscar Albayalde said the police has been hunting the said personalities since Saturday in response to the court order.

“I have directed the CIDG over the weekend to immediately send out arresting teams to serve the warrant of arrest against Satur Ocampo, Liza Masa, Teodoro Casiño, Rafael Mariano, Vicente Cayetano, Delfin Pimentel and Emeritio Intalan. However, I’m also appealing to these individuals to just turn over themselves in and to submit themselves to judicial processes,” Albayalde said Monday (July 30).

Malacañang, for its part, said it respects the independence of courts.

“The Palace will continue to respect the independence of the courts. We should, therefore, let the legal process run its course,” Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said in a statement.

It was Bayan Muna party-list Chairman Neri Colmenares who confirmed that warrants were issued against Bayan Muna Representatives Satur Ocampo and Teddy Casiño; Gabriela Representative and National Anti-Poverty Commission Secretary Liza Masa; and former Anakpawis Representative and Agrarian Reform Secretary Rafael Mariano.

The lawyer of the embattled Makabayan lawmakers said they will seek to quash the warrants of arrest issued against them. – Lea Ylagan / Marje Pelayo

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