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GOOD MORNING JUDGE: The travails of Gina Lopez

THE recent revamp in the Lower House of Congress which effectively divested opposition congressmen from chairmanships of their respective committees for voting against the passage of the death penalty bill emphasizes the adage that to the victor belongs the spoils. Indeed, it is a sad commentary in our country that if one is doing well and good in his job, he is generally relegated to the background. Look at what is happening to DENR Secretary Gina Lopez who is finding it hard to earn the confirmation of the Commission on Appointments as full-fledged DENR Secretary despite her “indomitable” crusade for environmental protection and sustainable development. It is sad to note during the Commission on Appointments hearing that many vested interest groups are opposed to her appointment. Reports are that her appointment was by-passed by the Commission and a new date for confirmation hearing has been set after the scheduled recess of Congress. In the meantime, hopefully she will be re-appointed by President Rodrigo R. Duterte. After all, as recent print media and television reports indicate, Lopez has the support of top environmental leaders and organizations in the country and the President himself. On the other side of the coin, this writer commiserates with our fellow Bicolano Atty. Jovy Salazar, Chairman of the Energy Regulatory Board who is facing hearing before the Committee of Energy in Congress for alleged anomalies and questionable transactions in the Board. Atty. Salazar is from Legazpi City and I was among his avid supporters when he ran for National President of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) years back. I was then active in my private law practice and lecturer at the UNC College of Law. I fervently hope that he passes through his present ordeal. And so also with our fellow Bicolano Senator Leila de Lima who is presently embroiled in her legal battle to obtain her freedom from detention over her firm stand against extra-judicial killings allegedly perpetrated by the Duterte administration. TRIVIA: Belated birthday greetings to my AdeNU high school batch ‘54 batch mate Frank Timoner of Daet, Camarines Norte who celebrated his 81st birthday anniversary last Monday, March 13. Our batch mates visited him in Daet last month as he has been ailing lately. The USI high school batch ‘55 is scheduled to have their monthly luncheon-fellowship meeting this coming March 18 at the residence of their batch mate Rose Cruz. QUOTATION OF THE WEEK: “THE GREATEST ASSET OF ANY NATION IS THE SPIRIT OF ITS PEOPLE, AND THE GREATEST DANGER THAT CAN MENACE IN ANY NATION IS THE BREAKDOWN OF THAT SPIRIT - THE WILL TO WIN AND THE COURAGE TO WORK.” GEORGE H. COURTELYOU FOR OUR WORD OF LIFE: “I SAY TO THE LORD: YOU ARE MY GOD; LISTEN, LORD, TO THE WORDS OF MY PRAYER.” PSALM 140:7

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