By Ellson Quismorio
The late former Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) secretary Gina Lopez left her mark in the hearts of House members through her indomitable passion, based on statements of tribute from legislators Monday.
“We send our condolences to the family and loved ones of former Secretary Gina Lopez,” said Deputy Majority Leader and Camiguin lone district Rep. Xavier Jesus Romualdo.
“A grateful nation will always remember her for her passionate service in and outside of government,” Romualdo said of Lopez, the longtime chairperson of ABS-CBN Foundation Inc. (AFI).
For Surigao del Norte 2nd district Rep. Robert Ace Barbers, Lopez was a “rare breed of a public servant,” one that the nation would sorely miss.
“The country lost a true defender of the environment,” he said.
“Her love for our country and passion to protect Mother Earth and her ways in doing it as well as being vocal about it is a manifestation of her character as a maverick in her advocacies. A rare breed of a public servant and a Filipina,” Barbers noted.
Quezon City 2nd district Rep. Precious Hipolito-Castelo echoed her colleagues’ glowing description of the former environment secretary in her own statement.
“We lost a tenacious fighter in protecting our environment–an advocacy she relentlessly pursued to keep Mother Earth better for the next generation,” said the lady solon.
“She taught us to dream the impossible, she let us believe we can fly. We will miss her,” Castelo added.
Lopez, who suffered from brain cancer, died of multiple organ failure on Monday. She was 65.
Her oft-cited passion with her work and her feistiness made her among the “stars” of President Rodrigo Duterte’s Cabinet.