Foreign Affairs Sec. Yasay, DENR Sec. Lopez to face confirmation hearing

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — Foreign Affairs Secretary Perfecto Yasay Jr. and Environment Secretary Gina Lopez will go through confirmation proceedings of the Commission on Appointments (CA) on Wednesday morning.

Yasay has been on the hot seat due to reports of his U.S. citizenship. The last time he went through the same proceedings, he told CA members that he never acquired legal U.S. citizenship although he admitted that he used to be an American resident.

Yasay was also quoted as saying in a TV interview that he used to have an American passport but he returned it — fueling speculation that Yasay has been lying all along about his alleged US citizenship.

Prior to the confirmation proceedings, he admitted having a U.S. passport, but denied he lied.

"Yeah, I did not only have a U.S. passport, I had a naturalization certificate which I all returned to the authorities," he said.

He added he applied for naturalization in 1986, and was granted in the same year.

Yasay and Lopez paid a visit to CA member Senator Loren Legarda, a day before the scheduled confirmation.

Lopez' controversial move against many mining companies led to 23 oppositions to her confirmation. Despite the support of many church, environment, and other cause-oriented groups, Lopez appealed to the members of the CA to vote based on the common good and their conscience and not based on business interest.

"My worry is that there are some CA members that are into mining and that a bit scary…In fact the head of the CA in Congress is a miner," Lopez said.

A day before the resumption of confirmation proceedings, the CA membership decided to change some rules, one of which is having a secret vote.