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DOF's Dominguez denies 'spat' with Gina Lopez


Despite their conflicting stance to the controversial mining audit, Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III on Tuesday clarified that there was no "spat" between him and Environment Secretary Gina Lopez.

"There is no spat. [As] I said I was part of a team and my part was to make sure that the risks to government liabilities are managed in a way that due process is being followed," Dominguez told the Commission on Appointments (CA) panel during the confirmation hearing on the appointment of Lopez

"We are just operating the mechanism," he added.

The Finance chief made the clarification when  Manila 6th District Rep. Rosenda Ann Ocampo said the Mineral Industry Coordinating Council's (MICC) conduct of multi-stakeholder review of Lopez's closure and suspension orders was a "non-issue" except that there is "spat between the Secretary [Lopez] and DOF."

Dominguez earlier said that Lopez had failed to observe due process when she ordered the operations of 23 mines closed and five others suspended.

He also downplayed President Rodrigo Duterte's declaration of support to Lopez.

Dominguez appeared before the CA as co-chair of the MICC, which is asked to create a multi-stakeholder review and advise the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) on the performance of existing mining operations in consultation with local government units.

The MICC, however, is only recommendatory by nature as earlier said by Lopez and supported by Dominguez.

Despite this, he argued that an MICC review is "imperative" since there were complaints about non-observance of due process in the conduct of the DENR's mining audit.

"I think it is imperative to come up with review, if not it will result to law suits," he said. —ALG, GMA News

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