Watch DENR Sec. Gina Lopez Press Conference At Malacañang Palace.
Due process was heeded in the industry-wide audit on mining operations in the country, Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Gina Lopez said Thursday.
"I fully support due process and I have followed due process. I can prove it," Gina Lopez said in a text message to GMA News Online.
Her statement comes on the heels of a separate statement by the Department of Finance that Malacañang and the Cabinet has intervened with her decision to close and suspend mining operations that violated mining and environmental laws.
The DOF said that members of the Cabinet have expressed their full support behind President Duterte's decision to observe due process before "implementing a directive of the Department of Natural Environment and Resources to shut down or suspend 28 mining sites across the county."
"The DENR’s move ... has triggered outrage in communities hosting mining sites, as some 195,000 direct and indirect workers and their families, or a total of some 1.2 million people, would be adversely affected by the closure and suspensions of the mine sites," the DOF noted.
Lopez, however, emphasized that the "heart and soul" of her decision is social justice. "That is the spirit behind all my decisions and all my actions."
During the initial audit, mining companies have been given seven days to respond to the audit results giving the miners leeway to clear the issues raised against them, according to a separate statement posted on DENR website on Saturday.
"We had to review the reported results of the audit for five months before we have to release it, ensuring that we followed the process meticulously," Lopez said.