A staunch critic of Environment Secretary Regina Lopez said Saturday that the revelations made by the leader of the agency’s mine audit team should serve as the final straw to convince her to fire and sue Leo Jasareno, whom the critic called Lopez’s “trusted yet grossly incompetent and corrupt adviser.”
In an affidavit submitted to the Ombudsman, the mine audit team leader—whom Lopez critic Surigao del Norte Rep. Robert Ace Barbers did not name—admitted having tampered with the audit results on the orders of Jasareno, the dismissed Environment undersecretary and former head of the Mines and Geosciences Bureau.
“This is what I have been saying all along,” Barbers said. “We have incontrovertible evidence pointing to the manipulations of the mine audit, thus those mining companies that violated the laws remain in operation while those who deserve to operate were ordered closed, a decision made by only one man, Leo Jasareno. How it happened is the billion-dollar question that only Jasareno can answer.”
“We await the attendance of secretary-designate Gina Lopez and the rest of her cabal in the [House]committee on good government so I can show to her the shenanigans being committed by her most trusted adviser, as well as the other equally corrupt MGB Regional Directors who play God in their areas of jurisdiction,” Barbers added.
The lawmaker said if the mine audit team leader’s revelation “does not move the Secretary, then I can only guess why.”