BONTOC, MOUNTAIN PROVINCE -- The Episcopal Diocese of Northern Philippines (EDNP) in their February diocesan convention appealed to President Rodrigo Duterte to stand firm on his appointment to Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Secretary Gina Lopez and retain her to bring to realization the good work that DENR is doing to protect the environment.

As of press time, Lopez' fate as DENR chief is currently under the decision of the Commission on Appointments.

The Diocesan Convention also supported the order of Lopez to close 23 mining firms and cancel the Mineral Production Sharing Agreements (MPSA) of 75 mining corporations for destroying the watersheds; and allow restoration and rehabilitation of damaged watersheds.

Diocesan participants while they were in favor of the resolution also called for the necessary measures by government to ensure the livelihood of miners and other employees who will be laid off from their jobs.

Another resolution was forwarded to be formulated following some comments that it’s not only large scale mining operations destroying the environment but also small scale mining and cement factories.

Meantime, the Diocesan Convention participants overwhelmingly opposed the death penalty bill as it against the right to life and forwarded their full opposition to extrajudicial killings being done in the war against drugs. (Gina Dizon)