MANILA—Sen. Panfilo Lacson on Tuesday said that it’s time to move on from issues that have marred the Commission on Appointments (CA) rejection of Gina Lopez’s nomination as Environment Secretary.
Lacson made this call after Malacanang clarified what Pres. Rodrigo Duterte meant by “lobby money” as a reason for Lopez’s rejection.
Reports showed that Presidential spokesperson Ernesto Abella said that when Pres. Duterte said lobby, he did not mean that there was a financial exchange. He said lobbying could mean “persuading.”
“Now that the President has clarified his statement, it’s time to move on from the ugly Lopez episode in the Commission on Appointments,” Lacson said in a statement.
Lacson, who was among the CA members who voted for Lopez’s rejection, said that he did not regret his decision knowing he did “the right thing” based on his evaluation.
He said that he felt it necessary to explain why he did not vote for Lopez’s confirmation despite the CA’s secret voting system because he wanted to “set the record straight.”
Several other senators including Senate Majority Leader Vicente Sotto III, Senators Loren Legarda, Joseph Victor Ejercito and Francis Pangilinan also manifested their vote for Lopez in the CA plenary.
On Monday (May 8), Pres. Rodrigo Duterte appointed former Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) chief and ambassador Roy Cimatu as the new Environment Secretary replacing Lopez.
Senators have expressed hope that Cimatu would have the same passion as Lopez had in public service.