The Chamber of Mines of the Philippines has come to the conclusion that it will not ever come to a productive and rational dialogue with Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) secretary-designate Regina Paz Lopez.

In the 42 years of the Chamber of Mines, it has always committed to maintaining an active working relationship with government. We have always worked with the DENR secretary appointed by every President even as we had issues and disagreements. We always threshed them out with the Secretary in a cordial, professional and fair manner and based on the rule of law.

We respected the decision of President Rodrigo Duterte and did not voice any opposition to her appointment. We expected that she would heed the directives of the President to be fair and to follow the rule of law.

We have repeatedly tried to work with the secretary-designate, however, it is clear that after 8 long months, the secretary-designate is unwilling to work with us. And as we have feared, her recent actions have been influenced by her prejudices.

It is with regret and sadness that we have filed our opposition to the confirmation of Regina Paz Lopez as DENR secretary. This is the first and only time that the Chamber of Mines of the Philippines has had to resort to this action.

We beg President Duterte, the Commission on Appointments, and the Filipino people to understand our position and action opposing Regina Paz Lopez’s confirmation.