Philippines: Priest Demands Firing Of Environment Chief


The head of the social action arm of the Philippine Catholic bishops’ conference called on President Rodrigo Duterte to fire his new environment chief who many environmental activists see as “pro-mining.”

Father Edwin Gariguez, executive secretary of the bishops’ National Secretariat for Social Action, said the president should remove Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu for allowing regional environment offices to issue mining permits.

In his annual State of the Nation Address on July 24, Duterte warned “irresponsible” mining companies to stop destroying the environment.

Father Gariguez, however, said the president should first remove Cimatu whose recent decisions “clearly favor mining companies.”

The priest said the government’s Environment Department needs a leader “who has the guts to go against the powerful mining lobby.”

Cimatu was appointed by Duterte as environment chief after the Philippine Congress rejected the appointment of environmental activist Regina Lopez.

Lopez has been aggressive in her campaign against mining operations in the country and ordered the closure and suspension of several mining operations.

UCA News

The Union of Catholic Asian News (UCA News, UCAN) is the leading independent Catholic news source in Asia. A network of journalists and editors that spans East, South and Southeast Asia, UCA News has for four decades aimed to provide the most accurate and up-to-date news, feature, commentary and analysis, and multimedia content on social, political and religious developments that relate or are of interest to the Catholic Church in Asia.

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