Senator Alan Peter Cayetano said on Friday that he was not surprised by former Environment Secretary Gina Lopez’s allegations that he voted against her confirmation because the Zamora clan had contributed to his campaign.
“I want to clarify that I gave Ms. Lopez enough chances to dispel fears that she would not observe the legal process in regulating the mining industry. I supported her in closing down mining sites that were not compliant with the highest standards,” Cayetano said in a statement.
“Unfortunately, the Secretary was adamant in defending her illegal actions. If she had carried on with her mindset, it would have embarrassed the Duterte Administration sooner or later,” he added.
The senator also explained why he did not elaborate on his vote during the confirmations hearing. “At the time of the voting, I felt that for me to explain my vote at that time would be like rubbing salt in a wound, because I would have to enumerate all the reasons why she is not fit to be DENR secretary. I felt it would be cruel to reject then put her down,” Cayetano said.