Anti-debt activists conduct “eyeball protest” to register people’s vigilant watch over BNPP revival bill

MANILA, Philippines – All eyes are on the legislators.

So it seems as the Freedom from Debt Coalition (FDC) intensifies its protest over House Bill 4631 authored by Rep. Mark Cojuangco mandating the rehabilitation, re-commissioning and commercial use of the mothballed Bataan Nuclear Power Plant (BNPP).

In a protest action today in front of the House of Representatives and coinciding with a Committee on Appropriations hearing on the BNPP, FDC advocates wore eyeball replicas with the retina part covered with a radiation symbol to symbolize the people’s vigilant watch over attempts to revive the contentious nuclear facility in Morong, Bataan through a legislative measure.

“From now on, the public and the broad social movement against the revival of BNPP will keep tabs on each legislator’s position, action and/or inaction on the said issue. However, special attention will be given to the 184 legislators who have rendered their support to the said bill,” FDC said in a statement.

The group said those who have put their signatures to the Cojuangco bill, their reasons notwithstanding, are now “under the watchful eyes of the Filipino public.”

FDC said legislators should be wary of their constituents’ perception concerning their support for the opening of BNPP.  Through a sustained information and education campaign, their constituents are being made aware of the dangers of the BNPP and its enormous weight on the economic life of the people should the bill be passed into law.

Meanwhile, all the 184 solon signatories have been provided initial studies on the dangers of the nuclear power plant pending the subpoena by the House of the comprehensive technical audit of the BNPP commissioned by then President Aquino in 1989.   

The group also warned legislators vying for reelection in 2010 that support for the BNPP revival bill, without first understanding the dangers of the nuclear power plant from reliable scientific study could be a “kiss of death” come election day.

“Lest we forget, the Filipino people especially the electoral public can be very unforgiving. Unless our legislators especially those aspiring for reelection want to court the people’s fury, we urge them to withdraw their support to Cojuangco’s bill while history and the people’s goodwill are still on their side,” FDC said.  

Yesterday in a press conference, FDC together with the Network Opposed to the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant (NO to BNPP) revealed the names of the 184 pro-BNPP solons and appealed to them to withdraw their signatures and support to the said bill.

The groups also advised the legislators to use the approaching Lenten season as a good occasion to reflect not only on the gross disadvantages and on the monumental folly of operating the nuclear facility but also on the dire need to junk the foolish proposal to operate the nuclear power plant.

“Like the mothballed BNPP, we appeal to the highest sense of our legislators to also mothball Rep. Cojuangco’s bill. We believe such a detrimental legislative measure has no place in the halls of responsible lawmaking,” FDC asserted. -30-

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