Belmonte backs renaming La Mesa Ecopark after Gina Lopez

MANILA, Philippines – Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte is backing the city council's move to rename the La Mesa Ecopark after the late environmentalist Gina Lopez, she said in a press release Wednesday, September 4.

Lopez died last August 19 at the age of 65. (READ: Environmental groups mourn death of 'eco-warrior' Gina Lopez)

Quezon City councilors Winston Castelo and Candy Medina filed separate resolutions to rename the La Mesa Ecopark as Gina Lopez Ecopark.

Belmonte requested the city council to expedite these resolutions, in view of calls from environmentalists to rename the park after Lopez's legacy in environmental advocacy.

During Lopez's stint as chairperson of ABS-CBN's Lingkod Kapamilya Foundation, she established Bantay Kalikasan in 1999 through which she pushed for the rehabilitation of the La Mesa Watershed and the development of the La Mesa Ecopark. (READ: What drives Gina Lopez?)

Belmonte earlier paid tribute to Lopez in a Facebook post, lauding her as a woman she proudly looks up to. 

She recalled their last team-up, which aimed to rehabilitate the Salam Compound in Barangay Culiat into a tourist destination.

"She will always be one of my greatest role models of a crusader who stopped at nothing to see her dreams for a better Philippines come to fruition," Belmonte said. – with reports from Loreben Tuquero/Rappler.com