MANILA, Philippines (The Adobo Chronicles, Manila Bureau) – Gina Lopez is out and Rodrigo Duterte is in as Secretary of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).
In in less than 24 hours after the Commission on Appointments voted to reject Lopez’ nomination, the President submitted his name to replace the outgoing secretary.
“I do not have time to look for a replacement for Lopez,” Duterte said. “Besides, I liked what she has done so far in protecting our environment. I would like to personally see to it that what she has started will be finished.”
Duterte’s announcement caught the Senators and Representatives by surprise. The nomination is unprecedented, and it is neither explicitly allowed nor prohibited under the 1987 Philippine Constitution. (Many will recall that Duterte did appoint Vice President Leni Robredo to his Cabinet before she resigned.)
An unofficial poll among members of the Commission conducted by The Adobo Chronicles shows that the vote on Duterte’s confirmation will be the exact reverse of who voted for and against Lopez.
Malacañang has also announced that effectively immediately, and until his confirmation, the president will be Acting DENR Secretary.
Be very afraid.