I’ve never really understood why President Rodrigo Duterte appointed Gina Lopez as secretary of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources. And now that Duterte keeps railing against the “oligarchs” who own certain media companies, singling out the Lopez family’s ABS-CBN broadcasting network and the Philippine Daily Inquirer of the Prietos, I profess that Gina’s continued stay in his Cabinet baffles me even more.
Duterte’s beef against the Lopezes, as the President has explained it on various occasions, is that the network refused to run a television commercial that he had already paid for during last year’s campaign. I don’t recall ABS-CBN ever replying to Duterte’s charge that it took his money and yet refused to run his ad—a serious charge that should merit a direct reply from the country’s biggest broadcast network.
Be that as it may, Duterte’s repeated broadsides against the network should at least merit some sort of response from Gina Lopez, whose family owns the TV station. But Lopez, who has never shied away from voicing her opinions in the past, has always avoided the topic of her family’s media company and why his boss believes he never gets fair treatment from it.