DAVAO CITY—President-elect Rodrigo Duterte on Monday offered the environment and natural resources portfolio to a scion of the Lopez family of Iloilo which owns a conglomerate involved in power generation and oil distribution.
In a video release of the Presidential Broadcast Staff Radio-Television Malacañang, Duterte said he offered the post to Gina Lopez, chairperson of the Pasig River Rehabilitation Commission and managing director the ABS-CBN Lingkod Kapamilya Foundation.
According to the RTVM release, Duterte offered the post to Lopez after her courtesy call at the Presidential Guest House at DPWH Panacan Depot in Davao City.
Lopez, who said she would think about the appointment, is the daughter of the late media tycoon Eugenio Lopez Sr., founder of the Lopez group of companies, formerly known as Benpres Holding Corp.
The conglomerate, now known as Lopez Holdings Corp., has controlling interests in two media companies, seven power generation firms, four property development companies, two engineering and construction corporations and seven manufacturing companies.
The decision to name Lopez to the DENR post came as a surprise after Duterte said shortly after the elections that he would name a nominee of the communist National Democratic Front to the post.
The NDF nominated Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Zarate to the DENR portfolio, but he supposedly begged off claiming that he preferred to continue his work in Congress.
The president-elect, however, changed his mind two weeks after the elections and said he would name a military man to the post because he expected to use the military in enforcing his environment policies.
By the end of May, Duterte said he would take on the DENR himself for at least a year with the help of a former military officer.