Philippine Congress rejects appointee who ordered mines shut

The Philippine Congress has rejected the appointment of the country's acting environment chief, who ordered the closure and suspension of dozens of mines she says harm the environment and residents.

The powerful Commission on Appoints disapproved the appointment of Environment Secretary Gina Lopez on Wednesday based on the recommendation of its committee on environment and natural resources, headed by Sen. Manny Pacquiao.

Lopez has locked horns with the mining industry and other members of President Rodrigo Duterte's Cabinet.

She ordered the closure of 23 mines, suspension of five others and the cancellation of 75 mining contracts after an audit showed they were harming the environment, damaging watersheds and causing siltation in coastal waters and farms.