MANILA, Philippines – Is your district representative one of the 184 lawmakers who have endorsed a House Bill that seeks to revive the “Monster of Morong?”

In a press conference held here today, the Network Opposed to Bataan Nuclear Power Plant (NO to BNPP) revealed the names of these legislators who signed Pangasinan Rep. Mark Cojuangco’s House Bill 4631 “mandating the immediate commissioning and commercial operation” of the mothballed Bataan nuclear  power plant. The group urged the solons to withdraw their endorsement of the controversial bill.

Etta Rosales, former party-list representative and now Freedom from Debt Coalition vice president, said that of the 184 lawmakers who have already endorsed the Cojuangco bill, 24 are from the National Capital Region, 75 from Luzon, 40 from Visayas, 38 from Mindanao, and 7 party list representatives.

NO to BNPP also called on the lawmakers to seriously study the economic, financial and technical implications of reviving the power plant and its potential danger to the lives of the Filipino people today and for generations to come. Rosales said that in a letter sent to the members of the House Appropriations Committee who signed the BNPP bill, her organization attached initial studies and position papers by scientists and experts explaining the danger of the nuclear power plant.  These studies were submitted to the Committee for distribution to the lawmakers.    

She said that NO to BNPP also called on the House leadership, particularly Speaker Prospero Nograles and the Committee on Appropriations, to request for a copy of the 1990 report on the $9.5-million Technical Audit of BNPP commissioned by the Aquino government through the Presidential Committee on the Philippine Nuclear Power Plant (PC-PNPP). Said technical audit was performed by 50 independent nuclear experts who were organized by the Nuclear Energy Services (NES).

Rosales said that the lawmakers who co-authored the House Bill should start considering the consequences of their actions, setting aside their “pakikisama” with the proponent Congressman Cojuangco.

“It is a tradition among members of the House to support each other’s bills especially as these bills address social development and welfare.  As a collegial body, I remember that we would support each other in promoting the welfare of constituents both as district and as party list representatives.  That is why when Governor Tet Garcia and Rep. Albert Garcia expressed deep concern for the safety and development of Bataan against the nuclear power plant’s revival, I felt confident that a colleague such as Governor Tet Garcia would be able to reach out and touch the hearts of former colleagues of his who know what it means to listen to the people on the ground.  With the 2010 elections coming up, NO To BNPP hopes to expand its reach and touch base with the constituents of all these 183 members of the House to let the people within their districts and the sectors among party list groups know exactly what bills are beneficial to the people and what bills threaten their lives and their children’s future. In this regard, the ‘Monster of Morong’ must be seen as a threat not only to Bataan but to the entire nation and its future,” said Rosales.

Beau Baconguis, Campaigns Manager of Greenpeace Southeast Asia, also echoed the call for the solons to withdraw their endorsement of the bill.

Time to reflect

Fr. Ben Moraleda of the Faith-based Congress against Immoral Debts (FCAID), for his part, said that the upcoming season of Lent is a good opportunity for the legislators to pause for a while and review the many documents given to them by the NO to BNPP.

“Reject sin and believe in the Gospel!” said Fr. Ben Moraleda of the Faith-based Congress Against Immoral Debts (FCAID), referring to the urgent call of the season of Lent. The priest addressed the call not only to Christian believers but to all men and women of good will.

"It challenges us to pause awhile and to take stock of the way we are living our life, to examine our fundamental choices: Is it for what is life-giving and true, or is it for what is bad and death-bound?" he asked.

"A timely case in point, I feel, is the intense debate presently going on in Congress on whether or not to revive the long mothballed Bataan Nuclear Power Plant. In contrast to the lies and half-truths offered by the ‘revival-advocate’, more and more solid scientific, political  and economic studies have been made to arrive at the following conclusions,  that (a) the BNPP is a major disaster waiting to happen, (b) the BNPP is a backward move in our efforts towards an environmentally safe and friendly society, (c) the BNPP will lay added useless expense on an already poverty-stricken people, (d) the BNPP will be a source of more corruption for our leaders. In a word, the BNPP must be regarded and condemned as among the most insidious modern faces of sin and evil in our national life. And to promote its revival, fully knowing its dire consequences for the people is to reject the life-giving message of the Gospel, and to betray our country and people to the deadly consequences of evil!" said Father Moraleda.

Technical audit

For his part, Nicanor Perlas, former technical consultant on the PC-PNPP, said that studies or validation efforts are no longer needed as the 28-volume audit report of the team of 50 nuclear experts showed very clearly that the BNPP can never be operated safely.

Perlas recalled that in September 1990, these experts submitted its audit report to the PC-PNPP and the Senate Ad Hoc Committee on BNPP.  The team of nuclear experts came out with the following findings regarding BNPP:

  • BNPP had more than 40,000 field change notices (FCNs), four times higher than normal, indicating the gross failure of quality control protocols.
  • The 50-man panel of nuclear experts estimated a repair bill of $1.20 billion to $1.54 billion (1990 dollars). Adding for a modest amount of inflation for 18 years, the repair bill, in today’s dollars, could easily exceed $3 billion.
  • Yet these massive defects and exorbitant costs underestimate the gravity of the BNPP problems. The team strongly recommended a fuller and more comprehensive audit, costing $100 million or more (1990 dollars), or over $200 million in today’s dollars (or almost P10 billion), to determine more fully the defects that permeate BNPP. This comprehensive audit would take more than 2 years to complete and would involve hundreds of thousands of human-hours.
  • The repair bill could easily shoot up to $2 billion (1990 dollars) or over $4 billion, factoring in inflation and present value of the peso today.
  • It would take a minimum of 6-1/2 years to repair BNPP and longer should a more comprehensive audit be done.
  • Yet, at the end of this long waiting time, there is no guarantee that the BNPP can be safely operated. The nuclear experts found that the Quality Assurance Program for BNPP was so problematic that plant quality and safety may never be established.
“Because of the pervasive defects of the BNPP, the nuclear audit recommended the mothballing of BNPP,” Perlas stressed.

Endorsers

Rosales, citing the data gathered from the House of Representatives Legislative Information System, named the endorsers of the bill.

From the National Capital Region, the 24 lawmakers who have endorsed the bill are: Bienvenido Abante Jr. (6th District, Manila), Maria Zenaida B. Angping (3rd District, Manila), Amado S. Bagatsing (5th District, Manila), Rozzano Rufino B. Biazon (Lone District, Muntinlupa City), Ma. Theresa Bonoan-David (4th District, Manila), Mary Mitz L. Cajayon (2nd District, Caloocan), Vincent P. Crisologo (1st District, Quezon City), Nanette Castello-Daza (4th District, Quezon City), Del R. De Guzman (2nd District, Marikina City), Matias Defensor, Jr. (3rd District, Quezon City).

Rexlon T. Gatchalian (2nd District, Valenzuela), Angelito C. Gatlabayan (2nd District, Antipolo City), Neptali II M. Gonzales (Lone District, Mandaluyong), Magtanggol T. Gunigundo (2nd District, Valenzuela), Jaime C. Lopez (2nd District, Manila), Oscar G. Malapitan (1st District, Caloocan), Roberto V. Puno (1st District, Antipolo City), Roman T. Romulo (Lone District, Pasig City), Jose Antonio F. Roxas (Lone District, Pasay City), Mary Ann L. Susano (2nd District, Quezon City).

Marcelino R. Teodoro (1st District, Marikina City), Cynthia A. Villar (Lone District, Las Piñas City), Ronaldo Zamora (Lone District, San Juan), and Eduardo Zialcita (1st District, Paranaque).

From Luzon, the 75 legislators who endorsed the bill are: Joseph Emilio A. Abaya (1st District, Cavite), Roque Jr. R. Ablan (1st District, Ilocos Norte), Victor E. Agbayani (2nd District, Pangasinan), Giorgidi B. Aggabao (4th District, Isabela) , Manuel S. Agyao (Lone District, Kalinga), Rodolfo III T. Albano (1st District, Isabela), Felix Jr. R. Alfelor (4th District, Camarines Sur), Juan Edgardo M. Angara (Lone District, Aurora), Rodolfo W. Antonino (4th District, Nueva Ecija), Maria Evita R. Arago (3rd District, Laguna).

Ma. Rachel Arenas (3rd District, Pangasinan), Diosdado Ignacio Jose Maria Arroyo (1st District, Camarines Sur), Elpidio Barzaga (2nd District, Cavite), Al Francis D. Bichara (2nd District, Albay), Narciso Jr R. Bravo (1st District, Masbate), Elias Jr. C. Bulut (Lone District, Apayao), Carmen L. Cari (5th District, Leyte), Arthur F. Celeste (1st District Pangasinan), Solomon R. Chungalao (Lone District, Ifugao), Eufrocino Sr. M. Codilla (4th District, Leyte).

Mark O. Cojuangco (5th District, Pangasinan), Junie E. Cua (Lone District, Quirino), Samuel M. Dangwa (Lone District, Benguet), Jose C. De Venecia Jr. (4th District, Pangasinan), Carlo Oliver D. Diasnes (Lone District, Batanes), Antonio M. Diaz (2nd District, Zambales), Mauricio G. Domogan (Lone District, Baguio), Thomas Dumpit Jr. (2nd District, La Union), Faustino G. Dy III (3rd District, Isabela), Wilfrido Mark Enverga (1st District, Quezon).

Eileen Ermita-Buhain (1st District, Batangas), Salvador H. Escudero III (1st District Sorsogon), Danilo Ramon S. Fernandez (1st District, Laguna), Arnulfo P. Fuentebella (3rd District, Camarines Sur), Aurelio D. Gonzales Jr. (3rd District, Pampanga), Eduardo Nonato N. Joson (1st District, Nueva Ecija), Antonio T. Kho (2nd District, Masbate), Jeci A. Lapus (3rd District, Tarlac), Juan Miguel Macapagal-Arroyo (2nd District, Pampanga), Ma. Milagros H. Magsaysay (1st District, Zambales).

Manuel N. Mamba (3rd District, Cagayan),  Hermilando I. Mandanas (2nd District, Batangas), Ferdinand Marcos Jr. (2nd District, Ilocos Norte), Mark Llandro L. Mendoza (4th District, batangas), Reylina "Neneng" G. Nicolas (4th District, Bulacan), Victor Francisco C. Ortega (1st District, La Union), Carlos M. Padilla (Lone District, Nueva Vizcaya), Pedro M. Pancho (2nd District, Bulacan), Salvacion S. Ponce-Enrile (1st District, Cagayan), Monica Louise Prieto-Teodoro (1st District, Tarlac).

Jesus Crispin C. Remulla (3rd District, Cavite), Carmencita O. Reyes (Lone District, Marinduque), Victoria H. Reyes (3rd District, Batangas), Arturo B. Robes (Lone District, San Jose del Monte), Adelina Rodriguez-Zaldarriaga (2nd District, Rizal), Herminia B. Roman (1st District, Bataan), Edgar S. San Luis (4th District, Laguna), Joseph A. Santiago (Lone District, Catanduanes), Rizalina L. Seachon-Lanete (3rd District, Masbate), Cecilia M. Seares-Luna (Lone District, Abra).

Lorna C. Silverio (3rd District Bulacan), Eric D. Singson (2nd District, Ilocos Sur), Ronald V. Singson (1st District Ilocos Sur), Jose G. Solis (2nd District, Sorsogon), Danilo E. Suarez (3rd District, Quezon), Alfonso V. Umali Jr. (2nd District, Oriental Mindoro), Czarina D. Umali (3rd District, Nueva Ecija), Edwin C. Uy (2nd District, Isabela), Rodolfo G. Valencia (1st District, Oriental Mindoro), Florencio L. Vargas (2nd District, Cagayan).

Luis R. Villafuerte (2nd District Camarines Sur), Amelita C. Villarosa (Lone District, Occidental Mindoro),  Liwayway Vinzons-Chato (Lone District, Camarines Norte), Joseph F. Violago (2nd District, Nueva Ecijja), and Jose V. Yap (2nd District, Tarlac).

From Visayas, the 40 pro-BNPP legislators are: Genaro M. Alvarez Jr. (6th District, Negros Occidental), Trinidad G. Apostol (2nd District, Leyte), Ignacio T. Arroyo (5th District, Negros Occidental) , Ferjenel G. Biron (4th District, Iloilo), Roberto C. Cajes (2nd District, Bohol), Edgardo M. Chatto (1st District, Bohol), Glenn A. Chong (Lone District, Biliran), Teodulo M. Coquilla (Lone District, Eastern Samar) , Paul R. Daza (1st District, Northern Samar), Arthur Defensor (3rd District, Iloilo).

Raul V. Del Mar (1st District, Cebu City), Antonio A. Del Rosario (1st District, Capiz), Ramon Durano VI (5th District, Cebu), Glenda B. Ecleo (Lone District, Dinagat Islands), Jeffrey P. Ferrer (4th District, Negros Occidental), Orlando B. Fua (Lone District, Siquijor), Pablo P. Garcia (2nd District, Cebu), Janette L. Garin (1st District Iloilo), Raul T. Gonzalez Jr. (Lone District, Iloilo City), Eduardo R. Gullas (1st District, Cebu).

Adam Relson L. Jala (3rd District, Bohol), Exequiel B. Javier (Lone District, Antique), Jose Carlos V. Lacson (3rd District, Negros Occidental), Julio IV A. Ledesma (1st District, Negros Occidental), Eleandro Jesus Madrona (Lone District, Romblon), Alfredo III D. Maranon ( 2nd District, Negros Occidental), Roger G. Mercado (Lone District, Southern Leyte), Florencio T. Miraflores (Lone District, Aklan), Joaquin Carlos Rahman A. Nava (Lone District, Guimaras), Emil L. Ong (2nd District, Northern Samar).

Monico O. Puentevella (Lone District, Bacolod City), Ferdinand Martin G. Romualdez (1st District, Leyte), Benhur L. Salimbangon (4th District, Cebu), Andres Jr. D. Salvacion (3rd District, Leyte), Nerissa Corazon Soon-Ruiz (6th District, Cebu), Judy Syjuco (2nd District, Iloilo), Sharee Ann T. Tan (2nd District, Western Samar), Pryde Henry A. Teves (3rd District, Negros Oriental), Niel Jr. C. Tupas (5th District, Iloilo), and Reynaldo S. Uy (1st District, Western Samar).

From Mindanao, there are 38 lawmakers supportive of the bill. They are: Thelma Z. Almario (2nd District, Davao), Edelmiro A. Amante (2nd District, Agusan del Norte), Jose II S. Aquino (1st District, Agusan Del Norte), Munir M. Arbison  (2nd District, Sulu), Pangalian M. Balindong (2nd District, Lanao del Sur), Franklin P. Bautista (2nd District, Davao del Sur), Vicente F. Belmonte Jr. (1st District, Lanao del Norte), Marc Douglas C. Cagas IV (1st District, Davao del Sur), Antonio H. Cerilles (2nd District, Zamboanga del Sur), Erwin L. Chiongbian (Lone District, Sarangani).

Simeon A. Datumanong (Lone District, Maguindanao), Nelson L. Dayanghirang (1st District, Davao Oriental), Didagen P. Dilangalen (Lone District, Shariff Kabunsuan with Cotabato City), Abdullah D. Dimaporo (2nd District, Lanao del Norte), Yevgeny Vicente Emano (2nd District, Misamis Oriental), Erico Basilio A. Fabian (2nd District, Zamboanga City), Florencio C. Garay (2nd District, Surigao del Sur), Vincent J. Garcia (2nd District, Davao City), Arnulfo F. Go (2nd District, Sultan Kudarat), Dulce Ann K. Hofer (2nd District, Zamboanga Sibugay).

Nur G. Jaafar (Lone District, Tawi-tawi), Cesar G. Jalosjos (3rd District, Zamboanga del Norte), Cecilia G. Jalosjos-Carreon (1st District, Zamboanga del Norte), Antonio F. Lagdameo Jr. ( 2nd District, Davao del Norte),  Datu Pax S. Mangudadatu (1st District, Sultan Kudarat), Francisco Matugas (1st District, Surigao del Norte), Prospero C. Nograles (1st District, Davao City), Arrel R. Olano (1st District, Davao del Norte), Candido P. Pancrudo Jr. (1st District Bukidnon), Philip A. Pichay (1st District, Surigao del Sur).

Arthur Y.  Pingoy Jr. (2nd District, South Cotabato), Rodolfo Rodrigo G. Plaza (Lone District, Agusan del Sur), Herminia M. Ramiro, (2nd District, Misamis Occidental), Guillermo A. Romarate Jr. (2nd District, Surigao del Norte), Pedro P. Romualdo (Lone District, Camiguin), Emmylou J. Talino-Mendoza (1st District, North Cotabato), Isidro T. Ungab (3rd District, Davao City), and Victor B. Yu (1st District, Zamboanga del Sur).

Also supporting the bill are 7 party list representatives. They are: Nicanor M. Briones (AGAP), Robert Raymund M. Estrella (ABONO), Carol Jayne B. Lopez, (YACAP), Florencio "Bem" G. Noel, (ANWARAY), Ernesto C. Pablo (APEC), Irwin C. Tieng (BUHAY), and Edgar L. Valdez (APEC). -30-

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