Environment Secretary Regina “Gina” Lopez claimed on Thursday she was offered a P6-million-a-month bribe to sign a document for a mining company. But Lopez said she refused the bribe. “A friend went to me and then she said, Gina if you sign this paper, the person (who) owns the mine, he didn’t tell me, will give me six million a month,” she told reporters in a Palace briefing. The environment chief said she was determined to “clean” the workforce of the agency tagged as one of the most corrupt in the government. “Some of them are corrupt unfortunately. I’m cleaning up the workforce. All this happened…if MGB (Mines and Geosciences Bureau) and DENR (Department of Environment and Natural Resources) people were really honest, this wouldn’t have happened,” she said. Lopez also said that illegal mining in the country “flourished” because some politicians have mining connections. “That’s how it is… the governor, the mayor… All over the country, politicians have mining links that’s why mining has been allowed to flourish,” she said. On February 2, Lopez ordered the closure of 23 mining firms, mainly for ruining watershed areas and “indiscriminate mining.” “It is time for social justice. You cannot run your business and affect our farmers and fishermen. This is not acceptable under the Duterte administration and not acceptable under the DENR,” she said.
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