Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Protests rallies staged in Bataan vs nuclear power plant

At least 1,000 protesters from various militant groups coming from parts of Central Luzon have flocked streets of Balanga, Bataan in a prayer rally calling for anti-revival of the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant, Monday.

The rallyists carrying placards with statements of “Ibasura ang plantang nukleyar” were very visible in the scene which strongly signifies their opposition on the issue.

The rally which started at around 2pm at the capitol of Balanga was spearheaded by Diocese of Balanga with the involvement of its local government units and militant groups led by Nuclear Free Bataan Movement.

Bataan Nuclear Power Plant is located in Mt. Natib and as the International Atomic Energy Agency said, it is too risky to have the plant located on top of the volcano, one of the main reasons why protests were staged.

On the other hand, Dr. Giovanni Tapang, a Physics professor at the University of the Philippines said that there is still no study around the site with regards to fault lines seen around Subic area that may trigger earthquake at any possible time.

But community of Bataan still opposes to the revival of the said power plant not just because of the possible damage it may bring in relation to the fault lines but also to the health risks involved in this issue.

According to Aurora Broquil, spokesperson of Kilusan para sa Pambansang Demokrasya Central Luzon chapter, the bottom line here is the safety of the people living not only in Bataan, but also in nearby areas.

“The radiation of the power plant can reach 50 kilometer radius immediately affecting Pampanga and Zambales. Experts say that within 50 kilometer radius, all things may easily disintegrate while mutation may occur within 200 kilometer radius,” Broquil added.

Kilusan para sa Pambansang Demokrasya will continuously engage themselves along with other militant groups in protest rallies until the government favors not to re-open the BNPP.

Renato Solayao, 57, resident of Orion, Bataan meanwhile expressed his strong feelings with this issue through an interview. He blamed the government’s corruption on this matter that’s why they are pursuing the revival of the BNPP regardless of its factors that may affect the community of Bataan largely.

“Corruption is too much. That’s why we, the poor, do not get any support because all of the money goes to their pockets,: Solayao said.

As of now, 190 congressmen signed the agreement favoring the revival of the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant and militant groups stood firm that they will not stop invoking and informing the whole nation of the disadvantages of this issue through protest rallies until the government decided not to re-open it.

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