Duterte defends Gina Lopez, ‘She is not incompetent, she is a bright lady’

Duterte-Gina-Lopez

President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday warned mining companies to comply with environmental rules or risk being shut down, saying the country will survive without mining revenues.

“I can forego the P40 billion I collect from you, and the Filipinos will survive without you. Either you follow strict government standards or you close…,” Duterte said in a press briefing in Malacañang.

The President again defended the campaign of Environment Secretary Gina Lopez against irresponsible mining, calling the anti-mining advocate a “crusader.”

“She is not incompetent, she is a bright lady. She is simply a crusader,” he said.

WATCH: Promining advocate attempted to humiliate Gina Lopez by asking if she used kaldero which are mineral products.

Lopez launched a government audit of mining operations last month, resulting to the suspension of at least seven mining activities.

A new mines bureau director, Mario Luis Jacinto, was appointed by Duterte to oversee the implementation of mining projects in the country.

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