Farmers hit Marcos-Duterte nuke power proposal

The announcement of the Marcos-Duterte tandem of plans to utilize nuclear power should they be elected into office did not sit well with farmers and other marginalized sectors, saying that Filipinos are still paying for the debts incurred from the mothballed Bataan Nuclear Power Plant (BNPP).

“Filipinos are still paying for the $2.2 billion costs of the BNPP and other foreign loans used to finance the power plant that was never used up to this day,” according to KMP leader and partylist Anakpawis chairperson Rafael Mariano.

“In case BBM forgot, his father, Ferdinand Sr., and crony Herminio Disini sank the country into unimaginable debt by taking out a multibillion-dollar nuclear loan package from Westinghouse Electric Corp. We will never allow Bongbong Marcos Jr. and Sara Duterte to use the same scheme employed by Marcos Sr. and Disini,” Mariano said. Disini, together with Marcos Sr. and Imelda pocketed at least $50-million in commissions from the nuke plant construction deal. The ousted first couple, however, were absolved from corruption charges by the Sandiganbayan.

“The 621-megawatt BNPP was never politicized as claimed by Marcos Jr. It was conceived for corruption and was bound to fail from the beginning. How can Marcos Jr. even bring up the issue of nuclear power when his family and their cronies used the BNPP project to enrich themselves,” Mariano said.

The former Cabinet member scoffed at President Rodrigo Duterte for signing Executive Order No. 164 introducing nuclear power in the country and developing a national program for it. “Nuclear power can never be viable and practical in the Philippines. Just look at the BNPP — it’s a $2.2-billion artifact.”

Mariano said domestic electricity and power rates remain expensive because the government allows the private sector to operate a supposedly nationalized sector. ###

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