MANILA Feb 9 Philippine environment minister
Regina Lopez said on Thursday her order to shut mines operating
in watersheds is non-negotiable, and said President Rodrigo
Duterte backed her decision.
"It would take a miracle to convince me to allow mining in
watersheds. As far as I know it's against the law. It's against
social justice, it's against the constitution. He (Duterte) said
I agree there should be no mining in watersheds," Lopez told a
Lopez on Feb. 2 ordered 23 of the country's 41 mines to shut
for alleged environmental violations. Fifteen of the 23 are
within watershed areas.
The mines to be closed account for half of nickel ore output
by the world's top supplier of the metal. Another five mines
(Reporting by Manolo Serapio Jr and Enrico dela Cruz; Editing
by Richard Pullin)