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Sunday, February 25, 2024

‘Tama na, Gina’

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Enough said; move on.

The more Regina Lopez, the former secretary-designate of the DENR talks, the more people get to doubt her capacity to lead and manage an important government agency, a Cabinet post at that.

All we hear indicates passion.  Management is another thing.  Following rules codified into laws is another thing.  Balancing passion with macro-economic benefits is another thing. 

Senator Ping Lacson is right:  She has authoritarian tendencies.  As we wrote in this space weeks ago, when she chided ES Medialdea about his staying her imposition of a fine that has no basis in law, while awaiting presidential action on appeals directed to it, as far as Doña Gina is concerned, everything is simplified into what she wants, she should get.  “A basta!”—and only she is correct.

Casting aspersions on those who voted to dis-appoint her will not change the reality that in the judgment of the elect, she does not deserve her lofty position.

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She could sing all over the country that she could fly; that she is pro-poor; that she loves the people; that she loves the NPA; that she understands the Constitution; whatever—that is her right.  But she can no longer do so as head of an important ministry that is supposed to balance conflicting interests.

It is not about being pro or anti-environmental protection.  It is all about following laws, and that is precisely what Senator Allan Cayetano has said in explaining why he voted to dis-appoint her.

And because she is scion to one of the most powerful oligarchies in the country, having control of the biggest broadcast organization, she and her family should not have used their unbridled media power to bamboozle members of the Commission on Appointments to vote for her.  Neither should they now condemn those who did not publicly express their vote after the same constitutional body decided to insulate itself from public approval or censure (media-centric as public opinion is), since the same CA earlier decided on secret voting. 


Tama na, Gina.  Move on—continue your advocacies as a private citizen.  You supposedly did well in the Pasig River Rehabilitation project. Go ahead and clean more and more esteros, especially the San Juan River that feeds into the Pasig.  Or the esteros of Chinatown.  Remove the water lilies that congest the tributaries of Marikina and Pasig.  You may want to get your family foundation to finance these heroic efforts.

The Supreme Court has directed that Manila Bay must be cleaned up from the detritus of decades of neglect and abuse. That should be a monumental enough task worthy of your passion and energies. That would be legacy.

And let a more sober manager take over the department that you were privileged to lead for the last 10 months, delivering nothing more than headlines and controversy.

* * *

The opposition (and I don’t refer just to a political party but the increasingly dis-empowered elite) has been moving from the use of one lady to another to bolster sagging public esteem, and direct their fire against President Duterte.

First they pictured Senadora Leila as a sort of oppressed Jean d’Arc, but failed to gain public sympathy other than from their own.

Then, they used the hapless vice president, Leni Robredo, to be their mouthpiece, mounting her even on an international stage, shaming the country in the process.  Now hardly anybody listens to her pronouncements.

Then they try to make an environmental martyr of Regina Lopez. Why, one fraile even suggested that his candidate (and his bishop as well) for president in 2022 is Doña Regina, and proceeds to enumerate her strengths:  Her money (or her family’s anyway), her machinery (money buys machinery, ne c’est pas?) and her mass appeal (she has a gift for gab, just don’t let her sing to mass audiences).

Why, the opposition might even make Agnes Callamard another heroine for their losing cause!

Next lady, please.

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