Thu. Oct 17th, 2019

Palawan pays tribute to Gina Lopez

Environmentalists and friends in Palawan paid tribute to former environment secretary Gina Lopez Friday at Santa Monica Parish in Puerto Princesa City.

ELAC executive director Atty. Grizelda Mayo-Anda reminisces the legacies left behind by former environment secretary Gina Lopez.

Environmentalists and friends in Palawan paid tribute to former environment secretary Gina Lopez Friday at Santa Monica Parish in Puerto Princesa City.

Attended by known environment personalities, friends, and supporters, the ceremony started with a church mass.

Among those present in the program were Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park (PPSRNP) superintendent, Elizabeth Maclang; Environmental Legal Assistance Center (ELAC) Atty. Grizelda Mayo-Anda; Brooke’s Point town mayor, Atty. Jean Feliciano; Palawan Environment and Natural Resources Officer (PENRO), Eriberto Saños; daughter of murdered Palawan environmentalist and journalist Dr. Gerry Ortega, Erika Ortega; Ugong Rock representative, Rommel Ortega; Nelson Sombra of the Samahan ng Katutubo Kapiagan sa Lupang Ninuno (SKKLN), and other Palaweño friends of Lopez.

“Si Ma’am Gina Lopez ang tumulong sa atin noon para ikasa ‘yong nag-iisang layunin natin noon para mapatigil at hindi na mapatuloy ang pagmimina sa Palawan,” said Maclang.

Anda said they will continue the legacy of Lopez in battling “extractive and destructive” industries in the province.

“Bagama’t nalulungkot kami Ma’am Gina, sa pagpanaw mo, pero ang istorya na ibinigay ng buhay mo sa bawat isa sa amin, ay istorya ng pag-asa. Istorya na kailangang ituloy ‘yong legacy mo,” said Anda.

Feliciano reminisced how Lopez fought with her in prohibiting mining in her own municipality.

Brooke’s Point town mayor, Atty. Jean Feliciano, speaks of her memories with Lopez during her fight against an illegal mining company in her town.

Feliciano noted how Lopez had supported her advocacy, citing her support on their effort to close down an erring mining company.

“Bago po ang demolition na ginawa namin sa Brooke’s Point, nagdadalawang isip ako kung itutuloy ko ba o hindi ang demolition. Bigla siyang tumawag (Gina Lopez) na pupunta siya ng Brooke’s Point. Sabi ko, “Ma’am, magde-demolish po kami.” Sabi niya, “Go for it!” So nagkaroon ng demolition, nagpadala siya ng isang journalist, isang freelance na journalist at ‘yon ang dahilan para maisiwalat ‘yong illegal na ginagawa ng minahan doon sa Brooke’s Point,” said Feliciano said.

Saños in his speech encouraged everyone to continue what Lopez started.

“Ang kanyang buhay ay bukas na aklat sa atin. Sana ang mga sinimulan niya, lalung-lalo na ‘yong kanyang mga natulungan, ay ipagpatuloy po natin. Marealize natin na doon sa pangangalaga ng kalikasan, nandoon pala ang tunay na liwanag,” said Saños.

Lopez died Monday at age 65 due to cancer.

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