Chamber of Mines of the Philippines (CoMP) Chairman Artemio Disni and Spokesperson Ronald Rex Recidoro filed a complaint before the Office of the Ombudsman against Environmental Secretary nominee Gina Lopez.
The nine-page complaint accused Lopez of violating of Section 3 (e) of Republic Act 3019 or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act and Sections 4 (b) and 5 (a) of RA 6713 or the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees. It also said that Lopez had caused “undue injuries” to the mining industry when she ordered the closure of 23 mining firms and suspension of five other firms based on an unsubstantiated mining audit
The complaint also stated that Lopez had acted without due process as early as September last year. She had already announced the suspension of about 20 mining firms even before the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) completed its mining audit. It was cited that Lopez did not even wait for any recommendation of any expert before making the decision to close the 23 mining corporations because of their proximity to watershed areas.
It also concluded that the closure no doubt resulted in the loss of thousands of jobs.
Disni and Recidoro also claimed that Lopez also exhibited “lack professionalism” and “discrimination” against the mining industry. It has been reported that she had admitted in a news conference that she was “not happy” with the mining audit report submitted by the DENR’s Mines and Geosciences Bureau.
The group had been vocal about its opposition towards Lopez’ nomination as Environmental Secretary, saying that she is incompetent for the position.
This is the second case filed against Lopez as the United Filipino Consumers and Commuters (UFCC) also filed a complaint against her in January this year regarding her alleged inaction on the supposed anomalous purchase of air quality monitoring equipment by the DENR.
Today is also the third round of her Confirmation Hearing. If the Committee on Appointments will once again rule to bypass, then the Committee would be forced to a vote regarding her appointment as Environmental Secretary.