President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday expressed regret that his chosen Environment Secretary, advocate Gina Lopez, was rejected by the Commission on Appointments.
Duterte went as far as indicate that lobby money played a role in the bicameral body's decision to thumb down the appointment to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources of an anti-mining advocate like Lopez.
"Sayang si Gina. I really like her passion. But you know how it is. This is democracy. And lobby money talks," he said in a speech in Davao City.
"May mga gusto akong tao pero hindi ko kontrolado ang lahat. Pero I share powers. That is the process of check and balances," he added.
Lopez has said that the CA vote was influenced by business interests.
Sought for comment, Senate Majority Leader Vicente Sotto III, who said he voted for Lopez's confirmation, said, "Amen."
Senator Panfilo Lacson, who openly registered his opposition to Lopez's appointment, said he didn't feel alluded to.
"I'm sure it doesn't apply to me," Lacson said in a text message. —NB, GMA News