That was how President Rodrigo Duterte described the Commission on Appointment (CA)’s rejection of Gina Lopez as Secretary of Environment and Natural Resources.
Sayang si Gina. I really like her passion but I remember talking about her in one of — ganitong gathering. It was not about the purpose for which they were really gathered in Malacañang, but I made a pinch-hit for her. You know how it is, this is a democracy. And lagi, money talks.”
Duterte made the statement in his speech at the opening ceremony of the 27th Philippine Orthopedic Association Mid-Year Convention at SMX Convention Center in Davao City on Thursday.
He did not explain how money influenced the CA’s decision, but popular sentiment has it that mining companies lobbied strongly against Lopez.
Duterte also said Lopez’s confirmation was beyond his control.
I do not control everything. I am the head of the Executive Department, the President. Congress is controlled by the Senate President and the Speaker. The Lower House and the Upper House. Supreme Court is a collegial body but the affairs are administered by the court administrator.”
He said while he makes the appointments to the Cabinet, the appointee has to undergo the scrutiny of the Commission on Appointments, which is a composed of members of the House of Representatives and the Senate.
So hindi ko talaga kontrolado ang lahat. Gusto ko. May mga tao ako na gusto ko, pero I share powers. And that is the process of checks and balances.”