I am talking of course about the confirmation hearing by the Commission on Appointments (CA) that rejected with finality the appointment of Ms. Regina “Gina” Lopez as secretary of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources DENR) and the deferment of the appointment of Ms. Judy Taguiwalo as secretary of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).
Both women are strong-willed and independent minded and advocate of causes worthy of respect and admiration for their aspirations and beliefs intertwine as it involves the environment, where if mismanaged and abused, it is the poor and the socially marginalized who are greatly affected.
It is no wonder therefore that an advocate of green environment has been chosen by President Rodrigo Duterte to head the DENR (https://quierosaber.wordpress.com/2017/03/14/sec-gina-lopez-and-the-mining-industry/) and the champion of the oppressed was to lead the DSWD (https://quierosaber.wordpress.com/tag/social-welfare-secretary-judy-taguiwalo/).
There is no doubt in my mind that Lopez will be remembered as the best DENR secretary the country never had because of politics and politicians being propped up by filthy rich businessmen who have large stakes in the mining industry.
“If you want to be confirmed, don’t go against big business,” an angry Lopez shouted during a long press conference after the bicameral hearing rejected her appointment.
“It’s wrong when lawmakers don’t stand up for the rights of every Filipino, but rather big business. It’s really very wrong.”
But if there is one good thing that Lopez has done in her short and controversial tenure as DENR secretary, it is to awaken the mining industries in the country that it behooves upon them to replant and to treat their waste water so that environmental disasters affecting the poor and the marginalized can be prevented from occurring.
The case of Taguiwalo was something else.
The CA deferred the confirmation of Taguiwalo because of her strong links to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and the confirming body just probably wanted more time to find out where she really stands now – her loyalty and ideology – considering her position as a Cabinet member.
But what really soured and turned off many during Taguiwalo’s confirmation hearing was the blatant display of arrogance and insensitivity, if not idiotic remarks disguised as a joke, by the Senate clown himself, Senate Majority Leader Vicente Sotto III (https://quierosaber.wordpress.com/2010/10/15/more-than-a-senator-sotto-is-a-clown/), who, while grilling her, tried to sound funny, saying: “Just on the lighter side, Senator Drilon and I were looking at the personal info about you. You have two children – daughters or sons?”
Sotto, with Drilon smiling at his side, considers this question “on a lighter side” when he knew already what went on with Taguiwalo’s life raising her daughters as a single parent?
If it was not meddling enough in Taguiwalo’s private life, Sotto proceeded further to disrespect and humiliate the former by saying that “Single mothers are “na-ano lang” (just got knocked up).”
What is being a single parent got to do with being confirmed, for chrissake!
If it was meant to be a joke, as Sotto later claimed it was, then it was a sick joke that could only come from one with a sick mind who does not deserve to be in the Senate at all.
Unlike Lopez and Taguiwalo, Sotto’s advocacy is simply to be a clown.