Taguiwalo: Lopez regrets being rejected as DENR secretary

By Gabriela Baron

Former Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Secretary Judy Taguiwalo revealed that Gina Lopez had regrets after being rejected as environment secretary in May 2017.

Gina Lopez (left) and Judy Taguiwalo (right).
Gina Lopez (left) and Judy Taguiwalo (right). (Photo courtesy of Judy Taguiwalo official Facebook / MANILA BULLETIN)

“She could have done so much more para maproteksyunan ang (to protect the) environment,” Taguiwalo said in an interview with DZMM.

Lopez served 10 months as environment chief before her appointment was rejected by the Commission of Appointments (CA) back in May 2017.

Taguiwalo shared that Lopez always came prepared during cabinet meetings and was so passionate about her presentations.

“Masaya na nakasama ko si Secretary Gina sa maiksing panahon dahil nakita ko kung paano talaga s’ya umaksyon para pangalagaan ang kalikasan,” she added.

(I am happy I had the chance to be with Secretary Gina even for just a short time because I saw how passionate she was protecting the environment.)

The former DSWD secretary also said that Lopez always had alternative solutions.

“Palagi s’yang (she is always) people first. Para sa kanya, ‘yong environment, ‘di lang pisikal, palagi ‘yong tao (For her, taking care of the environment means taking care of the people as well).

Taguiwalo also recalled that they both had lunch together after getting rejected by the CA.

“After nang pareho na kaming naligwak, nag-lunch kami sa bahay… ligwak ang tawag namin d’yan (After getting rejected, we had lunch at home) and you know, we’re not ashamed of that because we did not do anything wrong and I think the people knew that,” Taguiwalo ended.

Lopez passed away early Monday after battling brain cancer. She was 65.

READ MORE: Former DENR secretary Gina Lopez passes away at 65Progressive groups call Gina Lopez a ‘rare ally’