Anti-mining, environment activist and former Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Sec. Regina Paz “Gina” Lopez died on Monday, August 19. She was 65 years old.

The news of her death was confirmed by ABS-CBN Foundation after battling brain cancer.

MalacaƱang also mourned after the sad news reached the Office of the President.

“The Palace deeply grieves the demise of one of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte’s most passionate Cabinet members whose environmental advocacy and legacy remains unparalleled to this day,” Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said in a statement.

President Rodrigo Duterte appointed Lopez as DENR secretary on 2016 but failed to get confirmed by Commission on Appointments.

She became controversial after fighting against several mining companies, even ordering the closure of 23 mining operations and five other suspended.

In 1997, Lopez received the International Public Relations Award of Excellence for the Environment award and Outstanding Manilans Award for the Environment in 2009.

UNESCO Kalinga Award was also bestowed to Lopez, making her the first-ever Southeast Asian to receive such prestigious award because of her educational TV programs.

Lopez took big part on the rehabilitation of Ilog Pasig through Kapit Bisig for Ilog Pasig project.

In 2010, former President Benigno Aquino III appointed Lopez as the chairperson of Pasig River Rehabilitation Commission.

(Edited by: Bombo Sol Marquez)