Tony La Vina on G.Lo and mining

I just saw some papers by Atty. Tony La Vina — former DENR USec, perennial PH climate negotiator for decades (aka ‘planet saviour’), anti-coal, anti-fossil fuels, anti-GMO (I think) — on mining.

In Audacity, he wrote,

Lopez and Duterte have been bold; they are visionaries, taking immense political risks. They have reframed the discussion on mining in the most fundamental way—not about economics, but about sustainable development; not about profits, but about social and environmental justice…

In an interview with an American journalist last week, I was asked whether I thought Lopez was nuts. The journalist referred to one of the videos of Secretary Lopez where she waxed poetic about nature.

I said if she were, then President Duterte would even be crazier. The truth is both the Secretary and the President are sui generis, one of a kind. Indeed, I have always thought that the Duterte decision to appoint Lopez was a stroke of genius; her latest actions conclusively prove that this was a correct impression.

In Political will, he wrote,

But it is in the environmental sector and potentially in the peace process with both Moro revolutionary organizations and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines… where the greatest potential good social change can come. For immediate impact, the decisions that Gina Lopez makes promise to be the most dramatic…

Unfortunately, the detractors of Lopez have become personal and have launched propaganda attacks against her, distorting things from her past to put her in a negative light. There is also misinformation about the impact of her mining decisions, with the President himself misled into saying that we would lose P70 billion because of this. As Dr. Cielo Magno, a UP economics professor and an expert on mining economics, has computed, it’s more like P10 billion.

He must be one of those disappointed with the CA rejection of Ms. Gina Lopez. Although he believes that responsible mining is possible, his high regards of the idiosyncratic leadership and arbitrary creation and implementation of Department orders/circulars of Ms. Lopez puts him in similar ideological leaning as her.

Most “planet saviours” are also anti-mining. They show the same double-talk characteristics, like hating fossil fuels and yet love frequent jet-setting worldwide courtesy of fossil fuels. Or hating mining and yet love many products of mining, from gadgets to skyscraper buildings.

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