Press Release
August 19, 2019

Gina was great "secretary of defense of our natural resources"

Gina was not a debutante infatuated with green causes to which she had a passing fancy. She was a lifelong warrior for Mother Earth.

She walked her talk, be it in defense of helpless children or displaced communities, or in nursing back to life polluted waters or ravaged forests.

Before climate change became a buzzword, she was already warning us about this threat to mankind. The best way to honor her is to heed what she tried to teach us.

She may not have left behind a library of writings to read, but the way she made the best out of each challenge life had thrown at her was a good instruction manual on how to have one that is fully lived.

That one's gifts should be in service of lofty goals; that advocacies should be pursued with passion; that progress is achieved by venturing outside conventions and comfort zones; that true class is treating critics with love and understanding.

While in government, her habit of speaking the inconvenient truth to power was actually a strength, and not a character flaw in a bureaucracy straitjacketed by niceties.

Though her stint was cut short, Gina was a great "secretary of defense of our natural resources".

Our future can only be made secure if we continue her kind of stewardship, one that is not focused in parcelling national patrimony into blocks for exploitation, but in delineating "wild spots where profit has no dominion."

Paalam, Gina. May our life be as colorful as the earth you always imagined it to be: blue skies, green mountains, crystal clear waters, and the riot of colors we see in the wildlife you spent a whole life protecting.

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