By Andrea Aro
Judy Taguiwalo, former secretary of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), lauded on Tuesday the late Gina Lopez as the “champion of the environment.”
Taguiwalo recalled the moment when Lopez sang “I Believe I Can Fly” after the Commission on Appointments (CA) rejected her appointment as environment secretary back in May 2017
“Gina’s song is actually her, it is ‘I believe I Can Fly’ and she did it, she flew, she soared and we appreciated what she has done in the short time that she was secretary,” Taguiwalo said.
Taguiwalo also remembered Lopez as the “champion of the environment” when she stood her ground after her rejection even if there was no compromise for her.
“I think even if she was not confirmed we’ve seen how she worked afterwards, she remained as the champion of the environment, a champion of the indigenous people and a champion of the country,” the former secretary of DSWD said.
Taguiwalo also shared Lopez’s principle: “What did she say in one of her interviews? You cannot just follow the rules, you cannot just be ruled down because rules change but you have to hang on to your principles regardless of the situation, the principles will see you through.”
Taguiwalo added: “Sabi ko noon walang forever sa posisyon but may forever sa pag lilingkod and I think Secretary Gina showed that. She served the people as secretary of DENR even outside DENR.”
According to ABS-CBN, Lopez passed away early Monday after battling brain cancer. She was 65.