Former environment secretary Gina Lopez passes away
Former Environment Secretary Gina Lopez passed away on Monday, ABS-CBN reported on Monday.
Lopez, whose family owns ABS-CBN, died of multiple organ failure.
“The whole ABS-CBN family profoundly mourns the passing of Regina Paz “Gina” Lopez, chairman of ABS-CBN Foundation,” it said in a statement.
“With Gina’s passing, we lost a fervent advocate of children’s rights and protection, a passionate proponent of sustainable livelihood among the underprivileged, and an unswerving champion for environment preservation,” it added.
Lopez was appointed by President Rodrigo Duterte as environment secretary in 2016 but she failed to pass the Commission on Appointments on 2017 as she clashed with lawmakers over her strong stand for the environment.
As environment secretary, Lopez banned open-pit mining in watershed areas.
Malacanang mourned Lopez's passing, "We are going to miss her. She was the epitome of grace under fire during her confirmation hearing, She impressed me for having a good heart, a generous heart, always thinking of the upliftment of the poor,'' said Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo.
The Department of Environment and Natural Resources expressed grief over the death of Lopez.
“The DENR is saddened to know the passing of environmental activist and former secretary, Gina Lopez,” the department said in a Facebook post.
“We offer our deepest and sincerest condolences to her family and friends. May she rest in peace,” it added
ABS-CBN said Lopez's tireless commitment to these advocacies gave birth to Bantay Bata 163, Bantay Kalikasan, and other programs under ABS-CBN Foundation.
“Her caring heart and selfless kind of love inspired people within and beyond the organization to help and serve others,” it said.
The ABS-CBN Foundation called Lopez a champion for the environment, child protection and the disadvantaged.
“She exemplified a life of service to humanity with a deep desire to improve people’s lives, rallied for social justice, and sought to bring hope and change to poor communities,” it said.
It added the family request that all donations will be sent to the foundation instead of sending flowers and mass cards. Ella Dionisio/DMS