Okey, so there are just four progressives left serving the Duterte Cabinet: Judy Taguiwalo, Rafael Mariano, Liza Masa and Terry Ridon. With the rejection of Gina Lopez, traditional forces unleashed by bureaucrat capitalists and hawks within the government have drawn first blood. And not only these forces are deathly serious of ridding Duterte of his soul--even this administration's political nemesis is likewise conspiring to eliminate those who give this administration some semblance of legitimacy as a "transformational" government.
Who benefitted from the rejection of Ms. Lopez? It is actually the enemies of Mr. Duterte. Duterte lost his poster girl for the environment, a subject which is dear to the middle class. Lopez is successful of further popularising the environmentalist platform that the topic appeals to a cross-section of our population that people perceive it as a non-political issue. Now, it has become political, with people blaming Congress of rejecting someone whom they believe is one of five people perceived to be worthy of serving the citizenry.
Many believe that by getting rid of Ms. Lopez, they will be alienating this government from the middle class. Of course, there is still a remedy to this--a win-win solution.
Many of those in the know are puzzled why Duterte distanced himself from Ms. Lopez and began hitting ABS-CBN, the company of the former DENR secretary. Weeks before May 3, talks are rife that certain big-time miners have reached the ears of the President. Frankly, these miners have legitimate concerns. Most of them were given the boot without the benefit of a further review of the audit reports. And Ms. Lopez herself gave them the license of going to the President for appeal, so these miners are not to be faulted at all--they just exercised their legitimate right to appeal their case before Mr. Duterte.
Now--were there talks of deals or favors? How about political exchanges? Probably none. Duterte will not be caught with his pants down.
I think the rejection of Ms. Lopez was not just a win of Big Business over the environment---it happened in the midst of a possible political maelstrom. Duterte is being pestered by an impeachment complaint filed before the House. Those wily enough probably used this as a political bait to at least convince the President not to interfere with the process of the CA.
Thus, this was a perfect timing for those who want the head of Ms. Lopez--they caught this administration at its vulnerable moment. Everyone knows Mr. Duterte's ratings are going south. The middle class is the only one which remains unperturbed by serious political issues hounding this administration, and those who want nothing more than see Mr. Duterte leave office would surely try to convert this class as an oppositionist one. And there are also that case before the ICC and an impeachment filed before the House.
I will not be surprised if any day before the SONA, this impeachment complaint, inspite of its legitimate concerns, will be rendered "without form or substance" by members of Congress. Or, will we be surprised later on?
Things are getting really interesting.