MANILA – Environment Secretary Gina Lopez did not mince words during her confirmation hearing at the Commission on Appointments (CA) on Wednesday, March 8.
While presenting her plans for mines affected by her department's closure orders, Lopez addressed San Juan City Representative Ronaldo Zamora, the vice chair of the CA.
"Sorry, Mr Chairman, but that's your mine,” Lopez said referring to Hinatuan Mining Corporation which she ordered closed in February.
After she was corrected, Lopez continued: "That's your brother's mine.... Because Sir, you know they've been mining this for 20 years, and the mountain was really big and the mountain got small, and that's not legal at all, you've totally killed the mountain. Tell your brother he totally killed the mountain."
The congressman's older brother, Manuel Zamora, is the founder and chairman of Nickel Asia Corporation. Representative Zamora served in the board of Nickel Asia until his retirement from the company in 2013.
After the hearing that lasted two hours, Zamora told reporters that he has "no economic and financial interests" in any of his brother's companies.
Asked if he felt slighted with Lopez's remarks, he said he's already used to this since he's in politics.
"Very clearly she is passionate about her job," Zamora said of Lopez. "Whether she is qualified or not, that is something that the commission will be determining."