By Leslie Ann Aquino
President Duterte earned praise from the social action arm of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines.
Father Edu Gariguez, executive secretary of the CBCP National Secretariat for Social Action Justice and Peace, particularly lauded the Chief Executive for protecting the environment.
“We commend the president for taking a strong stand to protect the fragile environment,” he said in an interview.
The priest was reacting to the report that the President is mulling banning open-pit mining in the country in 2019.
Gariguez said they fully support such move.
“The ban on open pit, we fully support that,” he said.
The CBCP official lauded Duterte for not giving in to pursue the business interest of the mining companies.
In the past, Gariguez urged Duterte to take his campaign promises “seriously” particularly in protecting the country’s remaining environment.
“He should seriously fulfill his campaign agenda to be pro-poor and curtail the power and influence of the oligarchs. He should bring his passion in war on drugs to save our environment,” he said at that time.
On Monday, President Duterte also ordered mining companies to plant trees or risk losing their permits.